Firearms Fuel Majority of Baltimore Murders in 2017
Almost 90 percent of Baltimore murders in 2017 came as a result of a firearm, according to an article by The Baltimore Sun. Out of a total of 343 homicides, handguns were the cause of death in 295 of those cases, with shotguns and rifles also claiming six lives.
According to data from the Baltimore Police Department, most of the homicides involved perpetrators and victims with criminal records. Approximately 86 percent of victims and 85 percent of suspects had previous crimes on their record. Furthermore, 46 percent of victims and 44 percent of suspects had a previous firearm offense on their record.
Diving further into the data on homicide suspects, 18 percent were affiliated with organized crime. Approximately 70 percent of homicide suspects had a drug crime on their record. Almost 50 percent of homicide suspects had a previous charge for a violent crime. Concerning probation, approximately 36 percent of homicide suspects were on parole, with six percent on parole for a firearm offense.
Switching hears to the homicide victims, 20 percent were affiliated with organized crime. Almost 75 percent of homicide victims had prior drug crimes on their record. Approximately 50 percent of homicide victims had a previous charge for a violent crime on their criminal record. Concerning probation, 30 percent of homicide victims were on parole, with six percent on parole for a firearm offense.
Concerning the demographics of 2017 homicide victims in Baltimore, the data reveals a startling trend. Approximately 90 percent of homicide victims were black men. Additionally, 65 percent of homicide victims were aged 18 to 34. This means that the overwhelming majority of Baltimore homicide victims were young black men.
From a law enforcement standpoint, police officers did their best to address all 343 homicides in Baltimore in 2017. The overall clearance rate for murders was 51.3 percent on the year, a sharp increase from 38.7 percent in 2016 and 30 percent in 2015. Despite best efforts from police officers, however, almost half of the 2017 murders in Baltimore went unsolved.
Given the alarming trends of 2017 homicides in Baltimore, city lawmakers and police officials plan to lobby in Annapolis during the upcoming legislative session. A vast number of homicides were connected to suspects and victims with prior criminal records and previous firearm offenses. Consequently, city lawmakers and police officials would like to see the severity of penalties increase for firearm offenses in Maryland.
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If you or a loved one are facing charges for murder, DUI or criminal offenses, the combination of harsh penalties and jail time can be intimidating. Thankfully, a seasoned criminal defense attorney can assist with the process and maximize your chance of success. Don’t hesitate to contact Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland for help.