Detroit saddled with unwanted reputation

Sept. 10, 2009 at 12:04 PM
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DETROIT, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Detroit has an unwanted reputation of being a good place to commit a crime, the county prosecutor says.

"The chance of arrest is quite low. The chance of prosecution is quite low," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

Detroit statistics indicate what the police chief calls an abysmal rate of homicide closure in 2008.

The Detroit Police Department classifies 375 people as victims of homicide in 2008, revising its number up from 306 after a Detroit News investigation.

The survey showed at most, 70 cases ended with at least one person being sent to prison for murder or manslaughter. Thirty-one other homicide cases still are being prosecuted.

An interpretation of 2008 homicide warrants and convictions supplied by local law enforcement officials shows in more than 70 percent of homicide cases no suspect has been identified, arrested, charged or convicted of a killing.

Warren Evans, the third Detroit police chief in a year, said it isn't a hopeless situation for his underfunded and understaffed force, "But, we have serious challenges."

The closure rate for homicide closure in 2008 was 33 percent to 35 percent. The national average, the FBI says, is 62 percent.

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