Texas residents may have heard that for two years in a row, violent crime, including murder, has increased in the United States according to FBI data. However, a closer look at the statistics reveals that the increase is largely concentrated in a few cities.
Between 2015 and 2016, around 20 percent of the increase occurred in Chicago. There were 468 murders in Chicago in 2015 and 765 in 2016. There were also large increases in Las Vegas and Baltimore. Small towns had an increase in murders as well, but it was 8 percent compared to the 20 percent jump in cities. These figures follow several years of a historically low crime rate and still are significantly lower than the rate during part of the 1990s.
According to one law professor, the example of Chicago is revealing about crime trends in the country. He pointed out that half of these crimes happened in five neighborhoods that had less than 10 percent of the city’s population. These neighborhoods were probably already heavily policed and had high incarceration rates, he said, and therefore, the continued high murder rates suggest that this is not an effective deterrent to crime. However, the Trump administration is taking a traditional tough-on-crime stance.
A person who is facing charges for homicide or other serious charges might want to talk to an attorney about ways to counter the allegations. There are a number of different approaches depending on the circumstances. For example, it may be possible to refute some types of evidence in court such as eyewitness accounts. An attorney might also look at how evidence is gathered. Evidence that was obtained illegally may be thrown out. In other cases, the focus may be on reducing the severity of the sentence through a plea bargain.