The Washington Post looked at the 2,294 homicides that occurred in the District between 2000 and 2011 to determine what ultimately happened to each ensuing case. The newspaper found that less than a third resulted in someone being convicted of murder or manslaughter, although the rate has improved slightly in recent years.
The Washington Post has put together a detailed database tracking homicides in the District from the streets to the courthouse. Why don’t the authorities do this?
You’ve seen “Law and Order.” It’s a split system. The police are concerned with tracking arrests, not convictions. The prosecutors are concerned with tracking convictions, not arrests. No one puts together the complete picture.
If you see a body on the street or read about a killing, what is the chance that someone will be convicted of murder or manslaughter?
Probably less than 50 percent.
Why is it so hard to get a conviction?