Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chicago Murder Rate Passes 500

At 8:40 p.m. on Monday night, Chicago officially passed the 500 mark for the number of murders in 2008. About 40 minutes later, the number reached 501. Both of Monday's murders appear to be gang related. The police think that about half of the 2008 murders were gang related. Regular readers of this blog know that we have been tracking the murder rate and the increase in the rate of violent crime in this city all year. We have cited numerous articles in which police and prosecutors have been trying to place blame on each other for the increase in these rates. The real significance of the 500 mark is when you compare the 2008 rate to the 2007 rate. The fact is that even with 500 murders, 2008 would still be one of the lowest murder rates in many decades. However, in 2007 there were 443 murders. 2008's murder rate would represent an almost 20% increase over last year. This summer, attention was focused on the increased violent crime and murder rate because of the dramatic increase in random shootings and violence in the city. Most recently, the triple slaying of Jennifer Hudson's family cast a national spotlight on Chicago's violent crime problem.

Chicago Police Superintendent, Jody Weis, who was appointed to the position almost a year ago, has taken quite a bit of criticism for these increased rates. There have been whispers of discontent among police officers and complaints of low morale. Superintendent Weiss has responded by urging his officers to be more aggressive and creating some special units to specifically combat gang violence.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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