Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

DC’s anti-burglary initiative off to a bad start …

January 8, 2016

Let’s end the week with something from the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up file …

There has been an epidemic of burglaries in DC.

The DC police chief chalks it a change in criminals’ organization structure:

“We used to say that violence was neighborhood-based … now criminal street gangs are organized around armed robberies.

They’re involved in a high number of robberies and they don’t just do it in one neighborhood.”

In MBA-speak, they used to be organized geographically … now they’re organizing functionally.



Recognizing the problem, Mayor Muriel Bowser did the what mayors do ….


Shocker: Murder rate spikes up in Baltimore.

May 21, 2015

As Gomer Pyle would say: “Surprise, surprise, surprise”.


The Baltimore Sun reports that Baltimore has logged 96 homicides so far this year … a 30% increase over last year.

To put that number in perspective:

Last year, Baltimore’s murder rate was 5th in the country … a rate higher than Chicago’s; trailing only Detroit, New Orleans, Newark and St. Louis.

During the same period, New York City logged 54 murders.


Here’s a rhetorical question: What’s behind the surge?


Bizarre: Execution delayed (again) due to cloudiness … huh?

March 4, 2015

This is getting very weird …

Last week, I posted the story of a woman who was about to be executed in Georgia for successfully plotting with her boyfriend to off her husband.

At the last minute, her execution was postponed because of bad weather … though, it wasn’t obvious (to me)  what weather has to do with a lethal injection being done indoors.

The execution was rescheduled for this Monday.


Once again, things didn’t go as planned …


Climate change: Execution delayed due to weather

February 27, 2015

I shouldn’t be poking fun at this since I’m not a fan of capital punishment and for the affected person this is deadly serious businees.

But, I just can’t resist.

On Wednesday, for the first time in 70 years, Georgia was supposed to execute a woman who ran out of appeals and pardon opportunities.




But, things didn’t go as planned …


Which city is the U.S. “Murder Capital”?

June 9, 2014

Well, it depends on your metric.

In terms or raw number of murders, Chicago has led the league for the past 2 years … with 412 murders in 2013 alone.

As should be expected, big cities dominate the top 10 list … partly a matter of sheer population size.



Source: Daily Beast

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To be statistically fair, let’s adjust the numbers to reflect population size.

Which U.S. city has the highest per capita murder rate?


Chicago murders: Where’s the outrage?

January 30, 2013

Here are some interesting nums …

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According to the Chicago Police Department

Chicago had 513 murders in 2012 … about average for the past 5 years …  but – on the bright side – only about half the number common 20 years ago.


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Though  murder rates were even higher 20 years ago, police “cleared” more two-thirds of Chicago’s homicides then, i.e. arrested & prosecuted somebody.

The clearance rate has dropped below 1 in 3 … largely due to “no snitch” rules of the street.


Gotta be more to the story …

July 5, 2011

If these are true, they’re a sad commentary on the state of the American justice system …


Thanks to SMH for feeding the lead

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Crime is falling, but NFL lockout may reverse trend … huh?

May 31, 2011

Two somewhat related articles caught my eye:

The first — Crime is falling, still – reports that the number of violent crimes in the United States dropped significantly last year, to .. the lowest rate in nearly 40 years

In all regions, the country appears to be safer. The odds of being murdered or robbed are now less than half of what they were in the early 1990s, when violent crime peaked in the United States.

The trend is a bit  puzzling since it runs counter to the prevailing expectation that crime would increase during a recession.

That’s good news.

The bad news:

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said that one of the consequences of an owners’ lockout and a lost NFL season will be an increase in crime,

Lewis says:

“Do this research if we don’t have a season — watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game. “

“There’s too many people that live through us, people live through us,” he said. “Yeah, walk in the streets, the way I walk the streets, and I’m not talking about the people you see all the time.”

When asked why he thought crime would increase if the NFL doesn’t play games this year, Lewis said: “There’s nothing else to do on Sundays”.

If anybody knows crime, it should be Ray Lewis …

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P.S.  In a family chat on the topic, the overwelming sntiment was that Ray Lewis is right … crime will rise is the NFL doesn’t play.

Aren’t there any recreational options between watching football and mugging somebody?


Imagine the c

Crime … it’s simple economics.

January 18, 2011

According to conservative economist Thomas Sowell, for some, a life of crime may be a series of rational economic choices:

  • Given the Low Educational and IQ levels of many who become career criminals, crime may well be their best paying option.
  • Crime is one of those occupations, like sports and entertainment, in which a relatively few at the top achieve very high incomes, while most of those who enter the occupation received very low incomes.
  • For example, many ordinary young sellers of drugs on the street live at home with their mothers, often in public housing projects — clearly not an indication of affluence — but the lavish lifestyles of drug kingpins attract many young people into the occupation, in hopes of rising to the lofty level.
  • Changes in crime rates reflect rational reactions to the cost of criminals expect to pay both in punishment inflicted by law enforcement system and the risk of being harmed by their intended victims.
  • Burglary rates tend to be affected by the proportion of homeowners who have guns in their homes. For example the burglary rate in Britain is much higher than it is in the United States. And, when the Atlanta suburb of Kennesaw passed an ordinance requiring households to keep a firearm in their homes, residential burglaries dropped by 89%
  • Another example of the Rationality of Criminals Is the Response to the unusual American Institution of the private bail bondsman a system used by only one other country, the Philippines. Criminals who use bail bondsman, usually show up for their court dates because they know the consequences can be severe.
  • When the criminals in a given area belong to a crime syndicate, their activities are restrained by the organized crime leaders who have to take a wider repercussions into account. A syndicate may restrict the amount of crime to keep law enforcement from ratcheting up their efforts.
  • Ironically both law enforcement and organized crime tend to reduce the total amount of crime in a specific area


Applied Economics, Thomas Sowall, Basic Books, 2010  Chapter 2

Senate’s Sgt. of Arms: “The problem is our country’s murder rate.”

January 13, 2011

Interesting interview yesterday.

Interviewer was trying to goad the Senate’s Sergeant of Arms — who is responsible for Senators’ security – into saying (a) the shooting was politically motivated, and (b) Senators & Congressional reps should get more security.

He didn’t take the bait.

Rather, he said: “Put the situation in context.  We have about 15,000 murders in the U.S. annually.  That’s the problem we should be focusing on.”

In fact, there were 15,241 reported murders in 2009 … which works out to about 40 each day.

The Baltimore-Washington Metro areas average about 1 murder per day.

In 2009, Baltimore’s homicide rate ranked the highest among the nation’s cities with a population of more than 500,000 … 37 homicides per 100,000 residents … ahead of Detroit’s 34 per 100,000 residents.

DC ranked third, with about 31 killings per 100,000 residents.

No other city with a population of more than 500,000 came close; Philadelphia had the next highest rate, with 22 homicides per 100,000 people.

Raises a couple of interesting questions:

(1) While the Tucson killings are a tragedy, for sure, what about the other 15,235?

(2) Why no outrage that the region around the White House has the highest murder rate in the country?

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Side note:  The last congressman to be attacked by a gunman was California Rep. Leo Ryan, murdered at the Jonestown massacre in Guyana in 1978, 32 years ago.

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Source statistics: