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Homicide Statistics You Must Know

Homicide Statistics You Must Know

Homicide statistics vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction both within the United States and internationally. The most recent year for which crime statistics are generally available is 2004. International homicide statistics which examine the international rate of homicide by world region are available.
 
 
Crime statistics are available for the United States and are divided in two ways. Crime statistics and homicide statistics are available for states which demonstrate the rates on a State by State basis for 2004. The homicide statistics and crime statistics have also been published in the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports which show the crime and homicide rates for the twenty largest cities in the United States in 2007.
 
 
Homicide statistics compiled by the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development show that an estimated 490,000 international homicides were committed in 2004. International homicide statistics for 2007 reveal that Southern Africa has the highest homicide rates in the world. 
 
 
In Southern Africa, there was a homicide rate of 37.3 homicides for every 100,000 people in the region. This was well above the estimated global rate of 7.6 international homicides per 100,000 individuals.
 
 
Western and Central Europe have the lowest reported intentional homicide statistics in the world, with only 1.5 homicides for every 100,000 people. Africa as a whole, Central and Southern America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe all fall above the global rate. Homicide statistics reveal that North America, Asia, the Near and Middle East, Transcaucasia, Oceania, and South Eastern, Western, and Central Europe all have homicide rates below the international rate.
 
 
Crime statistics are available for the twenty largest cities in the United States from 2007. Homicide statistics for these cities only include homicides which occurred within the jurisdiction of the particular city's police department. Homicide statistics report that Detroit, Michigan had the highest homicide rate with 46 murders or non-negligent manslaughter crimes for every 100,000 people in a population of 860,971. 
 
 
Crime statistics also reveal that Detroit was the city with the highest violent crime rate with 2,289 incidents of violent crime for every 100,000 people. Homicide statistics show that El Paso, Texas, the twentieth largest city in the country, had the lowest rate with only 3 criminal murders happening for every 100,000 people, out of a population of 616,029.
 
 
Homicide statistics are also available by State. Three states have a homicide rate of only 1.4 homicides per 100,000 people. These states are Maine, New Hampshire, and North Dakota. Louisiana has the highest rate in the country when evaluated on a per capita basis for more than twenty years. In 2007 there were 12.7 homicides for every 100,000 people in the State. The national homicide rate is 5.5 homicides per every 100,000 people.
 
 
Crime statistics are also available on a State by State basis. The national violent crime rate is 465.5 violent crimes per every 100,000 people. Violent crime statistics show that the highest incidence of violent crime is in the District of Columbia, which has 1,371.2 violent crimes per 100,000 people. This sample size is not very conclusive, however, because the population of Washington, D.C. is less than 535,000 people. Violent crime statistics reveal that New Mexico has the highest rate of violent crime, with 687.3 violent crimes being committed per every 100,000 residents.
 
 
The majority of homicide victims know their killers beforehand. Homicide statistics from 2001 suggest that 45 percent of all homicides involved individuals in an intimate relationship with each other. Ten percent of all homicides involved the killing of a child by a parent. One in four homicides involved incidents of one friend killing another friend. Despite greater media attention paid to random victimization, there were no relationships between the murderers and their victims in less than ten percent of all homicides.

A Look into Non-Criminal Homicide

A Look into Non-Criminal Homicide

Non-criminal homicide covers a variety of circumstances which can result in the death of an individual. These homicides are not considered felonious incidents. A death can only be declared a non-criminal homicide after a thorough investigation to ensure that the event does not rise to the level of criminality.
 
 
It is possible that a killing which initially appears to be a homicide crime may not in fact be criminal. Often the criminality of a death can be determined during the course of an investigation. Cases which are non-criminal because of insanity of the killer must involve the courts without exception, although self-defense cases may or may not require court involvement to determine criminality.
 
 
Killings in defense of property are usually determined to be non-criminal during a homicide investigation. Homicides committed while the perpetrator was trying to prevent a crime often require a jury ruling to determine if the killing is criminal in nature.
 
 
Self-Defense
 
 
Self-defense is a very specific type of non-criminal homicide. Self-defense covers homicides committed while protecting an individual who was incapable of protecting him or herself at the time of the attack. In order for a killing to be deemed an act of self-defense, the victim must be an immediate threat to the perpetrator or the person being protected. 
 
 
It doesn't matter how great the probability is that the homicide victim would have posed a threat in the future. A homicide is only a justifiable form of self-defense if it is in response to a mortal threat.
 
 
Insanity Claim Overview
 
 
Insanity is a specific affirmative defense which declares that the killer is not criminally liable for their killing because of a mental disorder. The insanity may be temporary or permanent in nature. A plea of temporary insanity will need to prove that there were specific circumstances at the time of the killing which caused the killer to experience a departure from his or her normally reasonable state in order for the plea to be considered as an excuse for the murder.
 
 
An insanity defense based on an incidence of insanity of a greater duration often attempts to show that the defendant has exhibited symptoms of the mental disorder for a long period of time. Although insanity has been recognized as a legal exemption from liability for a long time, its legal definition has only been codified in recent years.
 
 
Prevention of a Crime
 
 
When the killer has acted in the attempt to stop the commission of a violent crime it is usually not considered a criminal homicide. Homicide is usually accepted as a means to prevent crime only for certain crimes, which include rape, armed robbery, or another homicide. 
 
 
Police are allowed to commit homicide in several specific circumstances. These circumstances include when the officer believes the suspect poses an immediate risk to other people, or the suspect refuses to stop fleeing from the arresting officer.

What You Should Know About State Sanctioned Homicide

What You Should Know About State Sanctioned Homicide

State-sanctioned homicides can include three different versions. The first kind of homicide which is allowed by the Government is the death penalty. The second is the right of civil officials to utilize deadly force in the event that a suspect does not listen to police instruction to cease threatening actions or appears to threaten either police or innocent bystanders. 
 
 
The third situation in which the State can conduct a justifiable homicide is in an attempt to uphold the common welfare and apprehending individuals attempting to escape from jail.
The California Penal Code, for example, declares a killing to be a justifiable homicide if it is perpetrated by either public officials or by individuals seeking to provide aid or following the instructions of a police officer. The officers can only claim that a shooting is a justifiable homicide in three circumstances. 
 
 
The first is if the homicide occurs while enforcing the justified rulings of a court. The second instance of justifiable homicide is when the officer is combating an attempt to resist the official's execution of his or her legally mandated duties. Homicides are also considered instances of justifiable homicide if the police official is attempting to detain an escaped felon, or a suspect is resisting arrest or attempting to escape and no other option is available.
 
 
Each State differs under the exact definitions of when homicides committed by police officials in the execution of their duties cease to be criminal and instead become instances of justifiable homicide. However, they all have statutes which exempt law enforcement officials from being charged with homicide when they engage in unintentional killings and had no other choice.
 
 
That a police officer is, in theory, allowed to commit a homicide when a suspect resists arrest is a utilitarian policy, allowing for the violation of a victim's rights. This utilitarian approach is founded on the notion that it is better to sacrifice the right of one person to life in the interest of ensuring the safety and security of the community.
 
 
Sixty percent of the world's population must contend with the possibility of the death penalty. The death penalty is a category of justifiable homicide which can only be utilized by a government. The four most populous countries in the world, the People's Republic of China, India, the United States, and Indonesia all make use of the death penalty.
 
 
In 2008, at least five thousand of the homicides in China were committed by the state. In India, three hundred and forty-six sentences of justifiable homicide were carried out by the state. The United States executed thirty-seven individuals. The probability of the state ceasing to authorize homicides through the death penalty is not very likely. Government-mandated homicides are usually performed by lethal injection, hanging, the gas chamber, making criminals face the firing squad, and electrocution.

An Easy Read Overview of Homicide

An Easy Read Overview of Homicide

Homicide, as a word, comes from the Latin words homo, meaning man, and caedere, meaning to kill. Homicide is the term used to cover all incidents in which one person kills another. There are non-criminal, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, reckless homicide, felony murder. 
General
Criminal homicides can include a variety of particular circumstances. However, they must be carried out by an individual who is aware of his or her actions and of the immorality of the act in which he or she is engaged. Criminal homicide also requires intent. An accidental death is not considered homicide unless it is the result of the killers ignoring the odds that their actions would result in the death of another person.
Intent to kill can be determined by the use of a deadly or potentially deadly weapon, or if there is proof the killer planned out his or her actions in advance. There has been a growing movement to consider cases in which a fetus is killed along with the mother as instances of double homicide, and thus, as much more serious crimes.
Homicide Degrees
Homicides are charged according to two separate systems. The first system was developed in Pennsylvania and recognizes three different degrees of homicide. The three degrees are a murder planned out in advance, a murder which occurs during another premeditated crime, and murder which happens when the killer intends serious, but not fatal, harm to the victim. 
New York devised a second system to classify murders. Their idea of first degree murder is more demanding, requiring the victim to fall into one of several specific categories or for the crime to fulfill one of several standards. New York defines second degree murder as any premeditated murder which does not fall into one of the situations covered in first degree murder.
Non-Criminal Homicide
Non-criminal homicide covers any killing which is not considered a felony. The most common reason a homicide is found to be non-criminal is because it is found to be an instance of self-defense instead. Self-defense also includes the protection of other people if they are unable to protect themselves at that moment. For example, murder in defense of someone who has been beaten unconscious would fall under the purview of self-defense.
The next common reason a homicide is considered non-criminal is if it occurred to prevent a crime. Homicides which prevent a crime are usually only non-criminal if the crime being stopped is violent, such as a rape, robbery, or another homicide. In Texas recent laws have opened the possibility that a homicide in defense of property may be considered non-criminal.
Homicide committed by a police officer in the execution of his lawful duty may not be criminal, so long as the officer demonstrated every reasonable effort to restrain his or her use of force. Use of deadly force by both the police and individuals practicing self-defense must be in proportion to the violence they are facing. The killing of an individual in war is usually not considered criminal.
The rarest circumstance under which a homicide may be considered non-criminal is if the killer can provide evidence that he or she was suffering from a psychosis, either temporary or long-lasting. It is very difficult to establish an insanity defense in such a way that it will be permissible in court or accepted by a jury.
State-Sanctioned Homicide
The most common State-sanctioned homicides are capital punishment, also known as the death penalty. Not every State permits the death penalty, and the United States is one of a few countries in the world that still executes its citizens. The second and third types of State-sanctioned homicides are very closely related and relate to the actions of law enforcement officials.
The second method of State-sanctioned homicide refers to police officers who are forced to kill dangerous criminals while those criminals are attempting to flee pursuit. This justification of deadly force can only be used if the criminal is actively threatening the life of another person, as in instances of self-defense and law enforcement has exhausted all other options to apprehend the criminal. 
The final circumstance of State-sanctioned homicide covers situations when a police officer attempts to stop an individual who is escaping from or who has already escaped from jail.
Homicide Statistics
Recent studies have shown that international homicide rates are at their highest in poor areas of the world. This is true on both an international level and on a domestic level. Southern Africa is one of the most lethal regions in the world with 37.3 homicides for every 100,000 people there. Western Europe is among the least lethal with only 1.5 homicides per 100,000 people.
Homicide rates share an inverse relationship with the wealth of the area. The same correlation exists in the United States. Detroit is one of the poorest cities in the United States and has the highest murder rate of the twenty largest cities at a rate of 46 murders per 100,000 people. 
El Paso, Texas, which has 250,000 fewer people has a homicide rate of only 3 homicides per 100,000 people. Louisiana has had the highest murder rate in America for many years with a murder rate more than twice the national average.
Reckless Homicide
Reckless homicides occur when the killer acts without regard to the likely outcome of their actions. Depending on the level of recklessness exhibited by the killer it may result in a charge of murder or manslaughter. In the event it is considered a murder, it is often charged as second degree murder and called a “depraved heart murder.” If the killing is considered manslaughter it is usually prosecuted under involuntary manslaughter laws.
Regardless of a manslaughter or murder charge, reckless homicides occur when the defendant did not intend to cause the death, but acted in such a way to ignore the probability that death would likely occur.
Vehicular Homicide
Vehicular homicide is when the killer uses their vehicle with the specific intent to kill or harm another individual. If the death occurred as the result of the killer’s being intoxicated it is more likely that vehicular manslaughter will be charged due to the negligence associated with drunk driving. 
Some studies suggest that when sentencing in vehicular homicide cases is left to the discretion of juries it may result in shorter sentences than those handed out in other homicide cases.

A General Overview on Homicide

A General Overview on Homicide

Whether or not a deceased person is a murder victim would appear to be a simple thing to determine. Presumably the primary deciding factor in determining if detectives are investigating murder cases would be the presence or lack of a murder victim, but the legal qualification for a crime's consideration as a murder case depends on several variables. 
 
 
In his Commentaries on the Laws of England from the middle 18th Century, William Blackstone described murder cases as those cases in which a person who had full control of his mental facilities killed a person outside of war with explicit malice.
 
 
Malice is a difficult concept to prove in murder cases. There are four different circumstances used to determine if a murder victim died as a result of murder. The first is if the killer exhibited an intent to kill. Intent to kill can be determined if a deadly weapon is used. Deadly weapons in murder cases are defined as guns, knives, or a car if used to hit a person intentionally.
 
 
If a murder victim dies as a result of a killer's intent to inflict serious harm short of death, the prosecution and police may elect to pursue it as stringently as an intentional killing. If a murder victim has died because of a killer's reckless indifference to the high probability that death or serious bodily harm would be likely to result, then murder cases may be pursued.
 
 
Reckless indifference statutes also cover murder cases in which the murder victim died as a result of actions taken by the killer while under the influence of both legal and illegal drugs, or alcohol.
 
 
The fourth and final definition of malice in murder cases is referred to as felony murder. Felony murder covers instances when a murder victim dies while the killer was intending to commit a dangerous felony. Dangerous felonies include rape, burglary, arson, robbery, sodomy, and/or kidnapping. Assault is not considered a lesser included offense that can result in a felony murder charge because all murder cases involve an assault of some sort.
 
 
Murder cases which lack intent or malice are codified as manslaughter. In some jurisdictions there has been a movement to consider a fetus killed during the committing of another crime a murder victim. Under Californian law a fetus can be a murder victim even if the mother was legally able to abort the fetus as a result of Roe v. Wade. 
 
 
A fetus that may not be a viable entity if it was separated from the mother at the time of the accused murder or would not be detectable due to being underdeveloped could still be considered a murder victim in cases prosecuted under these California laws.
 

What You Must Know About Homicide Law

What You Must Know About Homicide Law

The etymology of the word, "homicide," goes back to the Latin words homo, meaning man, and caedere, meaning to kill. Homicide is the technical term for the killing of one human being by another. The most common incidents of homicides are murders. Homicide, however, covers a broad range of instances in which one human being kills another human being. Though murder is always illegal and a felony, homicides are not always illegal.
 
 
Homicide is recognized as a crime in many legal systems both modern and historic, though each society has different means of judging when a killing has become a criminal offense. Most jurisdictions, however, consider a killing to be criminal when it is the result of a willful attempt by one individual to deprive another individual of his or her life.
 
 
The law recognizes several circumstances in which a homicide may not be an illegal act. These incidents of homicide are considered justifiable homicides. The most commonly recognized circumstance in which a homicide is not illegal is self-defense. Self-defense is a justifiable homicide committed either to protect the life of one's self or to prevent a person from committing a violent felony against another person.
 
 
When homicides occur because of a law enforcement official acting to enforce the law, a thorough investigation of the killing may cause the killing to be considered as a homicide as a result of justifiable deadly force.
 
 
An unlawful homicide which is not accompanied by intent or malice may be prosecuted as a lower charge known as manslaughter. Common prosecutions of manslaughter include negligent homicides and vehicular homicide.
 
 
A homicide which occurs within a war and which does not violate the widely-accepted norms of acceptable methods employed within a field of combat is not considered a criminal homicide. A homicide which violates the norms established in the laws of war may be considered murder under international law.
 
 
Homicides require a human victim. It is impossible for a homicide to be committed against a non-human animal or organism, or a corporation.
 
 
Homicides can cover a broad range of crimes. A homicide may be named by its victim or by its perpetrator, or may be named for the relationships between the two. Homicides named in these manners are: suicide, the homicide of the self, fratricide, when the killer's brother is the victim, filicide, when a parent kills his or her son or daughter, sororicide, a killing of a sister, matricides, where the killer murders his or her mother, patricide, a homicide targeting the father, parricides, which are homicides in which both matricide and patricide occur, and infanticide, which is when the killer commits homicide targeting his or her own infants. These homicides all derive their names from Latin words describing the relationship between the killer and victim.
 
 
Homicides named for the circumstances in which they occur include assassinations, felony murders, lynchings, murders by torture, mass murder, serial killings, honor killings, and contract killings.
 
 
Assisted suicide is another kind of homicide, which involves a physician providing a terminally ill patient with the medication required to end his or her own life. Depending upon the jurisdiction, these may or may not be considered homicides.

Read This to Learn About Homicide Degrees

Read This to Learn About Homicide Degrees

Murder is one of several crimes which is prosecuted with respect to degrees of severity. There are two general schemes which are used to determine which of several degrees of murder for which a defendant will be charged. The first and most popular sentencing scheme was developed in Pennsylvania. 
 
 
The second scheme was designed in New York. Both systems were developed in response to the 1972 Supreme Court case of Furman v. Georgia which sought to reduce the frequency with which the death penalty was applied.
 
 
Pennsylvania recognizes three degrees of criminal murder. Under the Pennsylvania definition of murders, first degree murder is an intentional killing where the killer either poisons the victim or waits to attack the victim. First degree murder under this sentencing scheme also includes murder that happens as the result of any other action which is willful, deliberate, and has an element of premeditation.
 
 
Second degree murder is considered to be the killing of one person by another person while the killer was either actively committing a crime or was an accomplice to a crime. This is also referred to as felony murder. Second degree murder in this case covers instances when a person is killed while the killer is committing another crime. Second degree murder in this classification can be charged whether the killer intended to cause the death or not. 
 
 
The premeditated nature of the overarching crime leads the law to consider any homicide committed during the overarching crime as premeditated as well. A death from a fatal heart attack during a bank robbery may allow the prosecution to charge the bank robbers with second degree murder.
 
 
States adopting Pennsylvanian sentencing structure also recognize third degree murder. Third degree murder covers any situation when the killer did not intend to kill his or her victim, and instead only meant to cause him or her harm.
 
 
New York has a different method of scheduling its murder charges. New York defines first degree murder as the murder of a police officer, a judge, fireman, or a witness to a crime. First degree murder also includes cases when murderers have committed multiple murders, torture, or murders that are considered especially heinous. 
 
 
First degree murder cases in a State employing a sentencing structure based on the one employed in New York would not cover premeditated murders that did not victimize one of the above types of people.
New York sentencing structure considers second degree murder to be any premeditated murder or felony murder that does not include one of the special circumstances listed under first degree murder.
 
 
The death penalty is also permitted under different circumstances depending on which sentencing rubric is employed in the State. Execution of a person convicted of second degree murder is never allowed under the death penalty. In New York-based systems, first degree murder is always subject to the death penalty. 
 
 
In states which follow a Pennsylvanian sentencing structure and allow the death penalty to be implemented, first degree murder must involve an additional aggravating factor to be eligible for the death penalty.Each State uses these definitions of what constitutes first degree murder as opposed to second degree murder to determine how long an individual must spend in jail.