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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Unsolved Murders

     Statistically, U.S. law enforcement agencies are the worst crime solvers in the Western world. According to official data, there are arrests for about one-eighth of burglaries, about one-third of rapes, and about two-thirds of murders. But official methods of reporting can distort and exaggerate murder clearance rates, and the official clearance rate has held steady for three decades, despite strong declines in the rate of murders being committed.

     According to FBI statistics, Flint, Michigan has the worst murder clearance rate at 17.5%. It is followed by Honolulu, Hawaii (18.8%), Midland, Michigan (23%), Saginaw, Michigan (23.3%), and Lima, Ohio (24.5%).

     Although a lack of trust between police and poor minority communities...is often used as an explanation for plummeting murder clearance rates in those communities, some affluent areas also have low clearance rates. For instance, Palm Beach, Florida and Long Island, New York clear only about one-third of their murder cases. That is comparable to the dismal clearance rates reported by Chicago and New Orleans, where gang-related murders push up the murder rate while depressing the clearance rate...

Matt Clarke, "U.S. Murder Clearance Rates Among Lowest in the World," Criminal Legal News, February 16, 2018

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