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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200317 Find in a Library
Title: Factors Affecting Homicide Clearances: Multivariate Analysis of a More Complete Conceptual Framework
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:40  Issue:2  Dated:May 2003  Pages:171-193
Author(s): Janice L. Puckett; Richard J. Lundman
Editor(s): Clayton A. Hartjen
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 23
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The purpose of this study was to clarify and extend the conceptual and empirical literature on the factors affecting homicide clearances.
Abstract: Scholarly study of the factors affecting homicide clearances is at the same point as scholarly study of police patrol officers more than 50 years ago. Major organizing frameworks provide contradictory images of the factors affecting homicide clearances. This study examined whether the visibility of homicide and the singular importance of homicide clearances pushed extra-legal factors to the explanatory periphery; it examined the effects of a census-tract measure of victim social class and the race composition of the census tracts where homicides occur; it examined the distinction between dunkers and whodunits; and it explored whether measures of homicide circumstances belong in models of homicide clearances. This study supported four conclusions: (1) murders in African-American neighborhoods had lower clearance rates; (2) no clear evidence supported that direct measures of extra-legal factors affected homicide clearances; (3) no support was found for arguments that detective experience and workload affected homicide clearances; and (4) evidence was found that the visibility and seriousness of homicide and the singular importance of homicide clearances combined to cause homicide detectives to work aggressively to clear all homicides regardless of where they occurred or the characteristics of homicide victims. Appendix and references
Main Term(s): Homicide
Index Term(s): Clearance rates; Homicide investigations; Murder; Police effectiveness; Police statistics
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