Chicago’s dismal rate of solving homicides is truly abysmal. A 26% clearance rate, according to the cops.
(Chicago Magazine) – …Only 132 of the 507 murder cases in the city last year were closed last year. That makes for a homicide clearance rate of 26 percent—the lowest in two decades, according to internal police records provided to Chicago. (The true picture is even worse; more on that later.) To put it another way: About three-quarters of the people who killed someone in Chicago in 2012 have gotten away with murder—so far, at least. “Those stats suggest a crisis,” says Arthur Lurigio, a criminologist at Loyola University Chicago.
But “clearing” a homicide doesn’t mean it was solved. Yes, this is Chicagoland.
In order to obscure just how dangerous it is in Chicago, they use the language creatively.
…To add to the confusion, the terms “cleared” (or closed) and “solved,” while often used interchangeably by police, don’t mean the same thing. You probably think that to solve a murder case is to find the killer, prosecute him, convict him, and put him in prison. And in some of the “cleared” cases, that happens.
But lots of other kinds of outcomes are included in the cleared stats too. For example, detectives can clear murder cases “exceptionally”—meaning they’ve taken the investigations as far as they can. They have identified the suspects and believe they have enough evidence to charge them, but the suspected killers wind up not being arrested, charged, or prosecuted.
Cases are cleared exceptionally (“ex-cleared,” in police parlance) for a laundry list of reasons, including if a victim refuses to cooperate, if the suspect flees the country, or if prosecutors refuse to approve charges because they deem the evidence insufficient. (For more reasons, see “Cleared Doesn’t Always Mean Cuffs,” above right.)
Last year, for example, 15 of the 132 cleared murder cases—11 percent—were cleared exceptionally, according to internal police records. “The ex-cleared helps your clearance rate quite a bit,” concedes a former top police official.
Chicago’s n0-snitch code against gang-bangers, drug dealers and murderers (pretty much one in the same, we know) was profiled in the Chicago Sun-Times last week.
Gee, could that be part of the problem in Chicago?
And then Wayne LaPierre points out Chicago ranks dead last actually prosecuting the worst violent criminals with guns in federal court, castigating the media for failing to investigate and report the truth:
(Washington Times) – Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president and CEO, who appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning, asked host David Gregory why the network doesn’t focus on the poor enforcement of federal gun laws in Chicago.
“I mean, let me give you the real sad thing, though. Let me hold up a mirror right now to the whole national news media and the White House,” the NRA official began. “I just got the track data from Syracuse University on enforcement of federal gun laws. Last time I was here, I brought it from 2011; it just came out from 2012.”
“Do you know where Chicago ranks in terms of enforcement of the federal gun laws? Out of 90 jurisdictions in the country, they ranked 90th,” Mr. LaPierre continued.
“Why doesn’t NBC News start with: ‘Shocking news on Chicago. Of all the jurisdictions in the country, Chicago’s dead last on enforcement of the federal gun laws?’” he asked. “Why doesn’t the national press corps, when they’re sitting down there with Jay Carney and the president and the vice president, why don’t they say, ‘Why is Chicago dead last in enforcement of the gun laws against gangs with guns, felons with guns, drug dealers with guns?’”