Murder One: An Exploratory Analysis of Case Clearance and Official Charges in Homicide Events

Derek J. Paulsen, Eastern Kentucky University

ABSTRACT
Over the past 20 years there has been a wealth of research pertaining to the phenomenon of homicide. Research on homicide has produced important findings concerning patterns of homicide occurrence, causes of homicide, and media coverage of homicide and its resultant impact on public perception. Despite the volume of research on homicide there has been a general lack of research on both homicide clearance rates and official charges in homicide cases. Specifically, there is little empirical research into what factors impact whether a homicide case is solved and which incidents result in a murder charge. The purpose of this research is to explore how extra-leal factors such as victim S.E.S. and media coverage impact homicide clearnace rates and official charges. In addition, research will attempt to determine if there are any spatial patterns in the clearance of homicides and homicide incidents that receive a murder charge?

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Updated 05/20/2006