Murder Rate Sees Biggest Spike Since 1971


We have heard plenty of speculation that the murder rate is rising in U.S. cities. A recent study released by the FBI has confirmed the deadly trend.

The data released at the end of the summer revealed murders rose 10.8 percent year- on-year in 2015. It was the largest single-year jump in percentage terms since 1971, the Guardian reported.

Just 10 cities accounted for the dramatic rise. These cities saw 524 additional murders. Baltimore in Maryland saw the biggest numerical increase – up 133 killings or 63 percent year on year.

chalk outline of a body

The biggest percentage increases were seen in Aurora in Colorado and Anchorage in Alaska – 118 and 117 percent respectively.

In terms of raw numbers Houston in Texas saw the third biggest rise in murders of any U.S. city with 61 more killings.

Worryingly, many of the cities that saw big murder rate rises in 2015 have seen killings spike further this year.

Homicides or murders are up 15 percent in Houston and 13 percent in Kansas City, according to police department figures. Philadelphia and Nashville have seen increases of 5 percent and 6 percent.

While the murder rate rose, the overall crime rate has remained stable. The rise in murders follows a 20-year downward trend. The gains of the past few years have been wiped out and the murder rate is back at 15,696, about the same as the rate in 2009. The violent crime rate remains much lower than in the late 1980s and early 1990s when it hit a peak. It’s still about half of the 1991 murder rate.

The national murder rate last year was about half what it was in 1991.

The Guardian reported the rising tide of homicides was driven by an increase in the murders of black men, and an overall rise in gun murders. At least 900 more African American men were killed in 2015 than in the previous year, according to the FBI data. There were as many as 1,500 more firearm murders last year.

Murder is the most serious offense anyone can face in Texas or other states. However, there are different types of murder charges and some homicides end up as manslaughter cases. Texas has a long history of charging the wrong person with murder. You can read more about murder in Texas here.

If you have been charged with this very serious offense it’s vital to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call us today at  (512) 399-2311.

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