Self defense shootings - homicide?


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SodiumBenzoate
August 9, 2004, 12:59 PM
I've heard from a friend that if someone is killed in self defense, it is both considered a homicide, and counted on the list of the number of murders every year.

Can anyone verify/discredit this?

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Ransom
August 9, 2004, 01:14 PM
Self defense is also called justifiable homicide if I'm not mistaken. Therefore I wouldnt be suprised if it is counted. I think its a pretty good bet that it would be counted under "gun deaths" and so forth.

Shadowman
August 9, 2004, 01:30 PM
I've read something similar.

I was googling murder statistics and IIRC in the US all shooting deaths are
initially classified as homicides, whereas in Britain, shooting homicides are only counted when the person is convicted for the crime. So, a discrepancy in reporting is clearly seen.

Pretty clever way to advance political policy:

Our stats (in US): artificially high (guns are bad)
Their stats (GB): artificially low (we don't want people finding out guns may not be so bad).

carebear
August 9, 2004, 01:34 PM
Homicide is a legal term. As was said, it just means a person deliberately took another person's life.

All killings are homicides but not all homicides are murder.

But statistically, you're right, they're all counted the same on a gross level. That's where some of the anti-gunners skew the statistics, throwing in justifiable homiicdes by police and citizens, and why we need to look at the broken down figures.

SodiumBenzoate
August 9, 2004, 03:06 PM
Thanks.

Librarian
August 10, 2004, 01:16 AM
CDC WISQARS (http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_fy.html) shows1999 - 2001, United States
Legal Intervention Firearm Deaths and Rates per 100,000
All Races, Both Sexes, ICD-10 Codes: Y35.0


Number of Crude Age-Adjusted
Year Deaths Population*** Rate Rate**

1999 299 279,040,168 0.11 0.12
2000 270 281,421,906 0.10 0.09
2001 323 285,317,572 0.11 0.10

compared to

1999 - 2001, United States
Homicide Firearm Deaths and Rates per 100,000
All Races, Both Sexes, ICD-10 Codes: X93-X95, *U01.4


Number of Crude Age-Adjusted
Year Deaths Population*** Rate Rate**

1999 10,828 279,040,168 3.88 3.81
2000 10,801 281,421,906 3.84 3.80
2001 11,348 285,317,572 3.98 3.91

In other words, it doesn't really matter - around 300 'legal intervention' included or excluded from about 11,000 'homicide' does not change things much.

There is the small problem that the crime classification usually is 'murder' when reported, but later on some are ruled 'legal intervention' by investigation or trial - a month or a couple of years later - but the initial reports are not usually changed.

Stand_Watie
August 10, 2004, 01:49 AM
The difference between the FBI uniform crime reports and the England/Wales reporting is that the "Crown" goes back and records the "final disposition" in the statistics, whereas the UCR's use "initially reported" data.

According to Home Office papers this accounts for about a 15% difference. Here is a bit from a paper discussing the issue, with suggestions for changes to improve accuracy

...REMOVING CASES FROM THE CURRENTLY RECORDED
FIGURES
10.1 An issue that has been acknowledged for some time in relation to the Homicide Index of
England and Wales and that of Scotland is whether there is full consistency of practice as
the final count of ‘currently recorded’ homicides. This concern was one of the reasons for
the Scottish Executive commissioning the University of Lancaster to do a detailed study
of homicide in the two countries (Soothill et al., 1999). The purpose of this was to
examine the extent to which the higher homicide rate in Scotland might be explained by
different counting practices. The research was also interested in where variations in
homicide rates were most evident (e.g., for which age and sex groups).
10.2 Some exclusions from the ‘initially recorded’ figures are consistently dealt with in the
two countries. (For example, an offence first called homicide that had a final verdict of
dangerous driving would be omitted in both.) More problematic are offences where a
suspect was acquitted, not proceeded against on the advice of the CPS, or was convicted
of a lesser offence. In general, the Scottish Executive tends to retain virtually all of these
cases as currently recorded, whereas in England and Wales more of them are removed
from the count. Numerically, the higher rate of removal of acquittals in England and
Wales was most important. Soothill et al. (1999) make an estimate that about 30 deaths a
year in England and Wales are removed from the Index that would not have been on the
basis of Scottish procedures. (A re-calculation of homicide rates, allowing for these
counting differences, makes a negligible difference to the gap between the two countries.)
10.3 Whether cases should or should not be excluded is often not straightforward. For instance,
a pub brawl in which a man dies after hitting his head on a pavement might result in a
case against three or four suspects all of whom are acquitted. Some cases not proceeded
against also require judgment as to whether a homicide was committed. An underlying
difficulty in RDS has been that there is often not detailed enough information on which to
make the best judgment. A solution to this would be to leave the police to decide whether
the initially recorded homicide case should remain in the ‘currently recorded’ count, even
though technically there would be justification for removing it. We thus recommend:
REC: 29
RDS should take police advice more in deciding whether to remove some initially
recorded homicides from the count of ‘currently recorded’ homicides. This would
involve asking for a police judgement on whether they still think a homicide has
occurred, even if the court did not convict for example. When this should be done
needs further consideration in the light of other recommendations about the
provision of information from the police...

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/methods_quality/quality_review/downloads/Homicide.pdf

agricola
August 10, 2004, 10:56 AM
stand_watie,

I think you misunderstand what that article says. Offences initially recorded as homicide have always been available (at least since the end of the 1960's), as the following table shows:

http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm50/5001/img/tab4-2.gif

what the article talks about is the currently recorded statistics which are those deemed to be homicides after investigation.

more info can be found here (http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm50/5001/5001-04.htm)

Hypnogator
August 10, 2004, 05:01 PM
Homicide is a legal term. As was said, it just means a person deliberately took another person's life.

Doesn't need to be deliberate. ANY killing of one human being by another is a homicide.

Homicides can be entirely accidental, or deliberate.

Under common law, homicide per se isn't a crime, but many categories of homicide are, such as murder, manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary) or negligent homicide.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 10, 2004, 05:19 PM
On the CDC numbers, here are the definitions they use:

Legal Intervention is defined as the following:

Injuries inflicted by the police or other law-enforcing agents,
including military on duty, in the course of arresting or attemptint to
arrest lawbreakers, suppressing disturbances, maintaining order, and
other legal action. Includes legal exectutions.

Homicides are defined as:

Injuries inflicted by another person with intent to injure or kill,
by any means. Excludes injuries due to legal intervention (defined
above) and operations of war.

So an officer who wrongly kills someone with a firearm during an arrest, an execution by firing squad, and an officer killing a badguy in a shootout are all legal interventions.

A citizen shooting a robber in self defense and a murderer killing a victim are both homicides according to the CDC stats.

The FBI keeps statistics differently and does keep some numbers on justifiable homicide; but is only able to report on those numbers where supplemental data is reported (in a lot of departments, supplemental data does not get reported in time to make it into the UCR, if ever).

The FBI numbers tend to suggest that justfiable homicides are still fairly rare events though at probably less than 1,000 annually.

Stand_Watie
August 10, 2004, 08:06 PM
I think you misunderstand what that article says. Offences initially recorded as homicide have always been available (at least since the end of the 1960's), as the following table shows: what the article talks about is the currently recorded statistics which are those deemed to be homicides after investigation. more info can be found here

I understood it perfectly.

agricola
August 10, 2004, 11:39 PM
so you deliberately made it look as if the UK was fiddling the statistics then? while knowing that it wasnt?

Stand_Watie
August 11, 2004, 12:22 AM
so you deliberately made it look as if the UK was fiddling the statistics then? while knowing that it wasnt?

I didn't do any such thing.

carebear
August 11, 2004, 03:02 AM
Bart,

In my view CDC is flat WRONG. Homicide is a clear legal term with a long history of usage. Why should they create a new definition? They can't pick and choose new meanings for legally defined terms and expect to be given credibility when producing statistics.

Logically alone, since justifiable homicide in self-defense is explicitely legal in US case AND common law it is therefore a "legal intervention." Maybe not "official intervention" but definitely legal. They don't have a category that fits, they're pushing an agenda, they can be disregarded and should be slapped around.

I hate CDC lately, if anyone cares, they're stepping WAY outside their bailewick. :fire:

Hypno is right by the way, I said it wrong when I used the word "deliberate." :(

agricola
August 11, 2004, 08:37 AM
standwatie,

my apology then, although my browser must have missed the part where you pointed out to shadowman how he was in error

Stebalo
August 11, 2004, 08:46 AM
I'd like to see a statistic of how many emergency 911 calls are made that still result in murder/rape/assault/robbery.

False hope.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 11, 2004, 08:53 AM
In my view CDC is flat WRONG. Homicide is a clear legal term with a long history of usage. Why should they create a new definition?

The CDC position is that CDC statistics are based on hospital and morgue reporting of injuries. In most cases, the report is filed with CDC long before any investigation has concluded. As a result, CDC only breaks firearm injuries down into four categories - accident, suicide, homicide and legal intervention.

Art Eatman
August 11, 2004, 08:56 AM
ag, we've been through this before. Without regard to "cooking the books" or suchlike, IIRC, y'all's system uses "homicide" in a different manner than here in the US. You explained this pretty clearly, but I disrecall the URL of the thread.

In the US, any death caused by another person is a homicide; the legal and dictionary definitions are the same. It might be purely accidental, but it's still a homicide. Unless agency charts specify wilful homicide, it's hard to tell what's included and what's not. And, SFAIK, most charts don't differentiate between "good" shoots and "bad" shoots.

Art

agricola
August 11, 2004, 09:07 AM
art,

thats the thing though - the UCR definition of "homicide" is not:

In the US, any death caused by another person is a homicide; the legal and dictionary definitions are the same. It might be purely accidental, but it's still a homicide.

but rather its (from http://cbi.state.co.us/dr/cic2k3/definitions.htm ):

Homicide - Murder and non-negligent manslaughter are defined as the willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another. (FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Definition). Not included in this definition are deaths caused by negligence, suicides, or accidental deaths. Attempts to commit murder are classified as aggravated assaults. (emphasis mine)

This means that a comparison is possible between the initial data of the Home Office and that of the FBI's UCR programme. As an aside, most of those incidents over here where a self-defence killing occurs would make the "initial" list of homicides here, because that is what they would be investigated as. Of course, when they were dropped they would make it out of the "current" list.

carebear
August 11, 2004, 02:06 PM
Bart,

Gotcha. Thus the example of the police shooting the wrong subject still being a "legal intervention." It's defined by actor, not action.

I still hate 'em lately tho. :D

Art Eatman
August 11, 2004, 02:30 PM
Yeah...Dunno as how it really affects the numbers, but from what I read about record-keeping around the U.S., followup for proper categorization is problematic. Many states are way behind on filing the final disposition of cases into their central files and thus on to the FBI (etc.) databases. Out of all firearms-related homicides, I'd bet the vast majority are criminal and not "righteous".

FWIW, last time I looked at CDC data, about half of all firearms-related deaths were suicides. More FWIW: When you consider the number of millions of gun-owners in the US and the total amount of shooting and hunting that goes on here, the total of accidental firearms-related deaths at some 1,100 or less is almost statistically insignificant.

Art

agricola
August 11, 2004, 03:22 PM
Art,

Yeah...Dunno as how it really affects the numbers, but from what I read about record-keeping around the U.S., followup for proper categorization is problematic. Many states are way behind on filing the final disposition of cases into their central files and thus on to the FBI (etc.) databases. Out of all firearms-related homicides, I'd bet the vast majority are criminal and not "righteous".

the UCR program does seem to be very chaotic when viewed against all the data contained in the Home Office statistics (for which, if you want to dig deep enough, you can pretty much find anything, thanks mainly to the criticism levelled at them during the early 1990's).

as for firearms-related homicides, thats pretty much true for over here as well.

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