Murder is the unlawful killing of a human person with malice aforethought. Murder is generally distinguished from other forms of homicide by the elements of malice aforethought and the lack of lawful justification. All jurisdictions, ancient and modern, consider it a most serious crime. Most jurisdictions impose a severe penalty for its commission. (source wikipedia)
From time to time, I look at what people are searching for when they hit my blog. Usually, they want to find out where the dangerous areas of Memphis are, or they are inquiring about gangs, or they may want to know how many murders we've had. I started looking at those numbers and found out something I thought was interesting. It has been widely reported that we've had 160 Murders in 2007, but after looking at the data, I find that simply isn't true. We've had 132 Murder/Manslaughters and the others have been coded as "Justifiable Homicide". I think this is a gross injustice to say we've had 160 murders when roughly 18% of those were cases that involved someone taking a lawful action, that resulted in a death. It's an unfortunate thing, to have to take someone else's life, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
So, let's start reporting the offenses as they are. We need to be breaking the Justifiable Homicides out of the total picture, because they are not Murder.
Here's the breakdown:
130 Murders/Non Negligent Manslaughter
002 Manslaughter by Negligence
028 Justifiable Homicides
Here's a look at where the 132 Murders/Manslaughters have occured this year: