Tag Archives: Violent crime

Fewer than Half of Violent Crimes Are Solved in America, by Ryan McMaken

Read the above statistic and doesn’t it just make you want to hand your guns over to the government, knowing it will protect you? From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

One of the central arguments in favor of the government’s monopoly on police powers is that government police are essential in “keeping us safe.” Without this “thin blue line” between chaos and order, we are told, society will descend into chaos.

How exactly this order is maintained by police, however, is less clear. In recent years, police agencies have insisted they have no legal obligation to directly intervene to protect people from threats posed by criminals. The courts have agreed.

[RELATED: “Police Have No Duty to Protect You, Federal Court Affirms Yet Again” by Ryan McMaken]

Having abandoned the “protect” part of “to serve and protect,” the police have retreated to the claim that their real role is simply to “enforce the law.” This “enforcement” presumably would include investigation of crimes and arrests of suspects.

So how is that going for them?

According to the most recent FBI “Crime in the United States” report, only 45 percent of violent crime lead to arrest and prosecution. That is, less than half of violent crimes result in what is known as a “clearance” of the crime. Property crime clearances are much worse. Only 17 percent of burglaries, arsons, and car thefts are “cleared.”

Among violent crimes, homicides experience the highest clearance rate by far, at 61 percent. Aggravated assault comes in at 53 percent, and rape at 34 percent.

But these are just cases where arrests are made and prosecutions are initiated. A smaller number of cases actually lead to convictions. A crime may be cleared even when the suspect is later exonerated.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the nationwide conviction rate for murders is 70 percent.

So, we may be looking at a situation in which for every 100 homicides, 61 percent are cleared, and then 70 percent of those — 43 cases — lead to conviction. And this assumes that the correct person is convicted. According to some estimates, four percent of inmates on death row are innocent. Wrongful conviction rates are assumed to be higher for lesser crimes since officials are less rigorous in establishing guilt when capital punishment is not on the table.

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