According to analyzes of FBI data by the Marshall Project and Murder Accountability Project, the homicide rate has dropped to its lowest level from 71 percent in 1980 to about 50 percent in 2020.
America now risks becoming the first developed country where the majority of murders go unsolved. according to Thomas Hargrovefounder of the Murder Accountability Project, which tracks unsolved murders in the US.
While US police have solved more homicides since 1997 than in any other year, the increasing number of homicides has caused the clear-up rate to drop dramatically to just under 50 percent.
Clearance rates are the benchmark used to determine how many homicides the police have solved according to FBI reports.
This comes after a significant increase in homicides in some of America’s largest cities, including Kansas City, which saw 15 homicides for every 100,000 people by 2022.
America risks becoming the first developed country where the majority of murders go unsolved as national homicide clearance rates are the lowest in four decades
Researchers found that Detroit, Michigan, St. Louis, Missouri, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin were the top five homicide locations. Denver, Colorado, performed best of the 50 major cities in the study.
To clear a case, at least one suspect must be arrested, charged with the crime, and handed over to a court for prosecution.
However, according to the FBI, murders can also be approved by “exceptional means” — this is when police believe they have enough evidence but were unable to make an arrest.
Examples include the death of a suspect, another jurisdiction’s refusal to extradite someone, or police identification of a suspect.
From 2019 to 2020, police in the United States solved an additional 1,200 homicides, a 14 percent increase.
However, compared to previous decades, the homicide rate has now doubled and is at 30 percent, leading to a drop in the number of approved crimes as only one in two homicides is solved.
Across the country, murders and manslaughter a were handled at the highest rates, at 50% and 69% respectively, while other crimes, such as rape, robbery and assault, were solved at much lower rates.
Local law enforcement agencies reported just 14,715 homicides, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has counted 25,988 homicides so far, according to data collected by the Murder Accountability Project.
Compared to previous decades, the murder rate has now doubled and is at 30 percent, leading to a drop in the number of approved crimes as only one in two murders are solved (stock image)
This is because the FBI has mandated that all crimes committed in 2021 and beyond must be reported through the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) rather than the Summary Reporting System.
Philip Cook, a public policy researcher at the University of Chicago Urban Labs who has studied clearance rates since the 1970s, suggests that a drop in clearance rates may not be a bad thing.
He told the Marshall projectIt could also be that arrest standards have gone up and some of the tricks they used in 1965 are no longer available.
In addition, the change in clearance rates over the years can be attributed to the fact that the nature of the crimes that the police have to solve has changed over the years.
Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that murders are now less likely to be committed by people the victim knew, and more and more murders are committed by strangers.
Alternatively, often in minority communities where trust in the law is lower, officers struggle to get witnesses to talk to them, claims Peter Moskos, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Melina Abdullah, co-director of the national community organizing group Black Lives Matter Grassroots, claimed that one of the reasons for calling in law enforcement is due to fear of violent reprisal.
Abdullah suggested that police are often guilty of falsely criminalizing victims and treating them as suspects, particularly in black communities.
CBS also noted a growing discrepancy in homicide clearance rates based on the race and ethnicity of the victim, with African-American victims having the lowest clearance rates.
In addition, the Murder Accountability Project reported that 100 percent of the decline in U.S. homicide clearances was driven by black victims, as clearance rates for white, Asian-American, and Native American victims have remained stable over time or even increased. improved.
As a result of this cycle, the police are considered inefficient at their jobs if they are not given vital clues.
“The declining homicide solving rates are a result of an inadequate allocation of resources — detectives, forensic technicians, crime lab capacity and adequate staff training,” Hargrove said.
While a case may be approved, it does not always result in jail time.
A 2009 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics said that in the nation’s 70 largest counties, nearly a third of people accused of murder were acquitted or discharged.