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LA County reports 41-percent arrests of killings last year
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08:30, February 20, 2008

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Arrrests were made in about 41 percent of slayings in Los Angeles County in 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday.

According to data collected by the Homicide Report, there was virtually no difference in success rates overall between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Although these two agencies -- both among the largest in the country -- follow very different models in investigating homicides, both had arrested suspects in about 40 percent of all cases by year's end, the report shows.

The finding suggests that community attitudes and behaviors and prosecutors' thresholds for filing homicide charges may have more to do with whether killers end up behind bars than any particular law-enforcement model, said the paper.

The data also show that clearance rates varied across geographic and demographic lines. The rate of arresting suspects was lowest for cases in which blacks were victims. Countywide, suspects had been arrested in 38 percent of cases in which blacks were victims, compared with 42 percent for Latinos and 54 percent for whites.

All of these findings are preliminary, because an undetermined number of cases will be solved in coming months or years. Many homicide detectives suggest a minimum of two years is needed to fully investigate cases.

The Homicide Report analysis considered 710 cases in 2007, a portion of the more than 900 killings that occurred countywide.

Source: Xinhua

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