Skip to comments.Justified Homicide in California not Considered Justified by FBI
Posted on 06/07/2014 3:46:12 AM PDT by marktwain
This shooting in California is a good example of why the FBI does not report the vast majority of justified homicides in this country. The robbery was stopped and the robber killed, so no robbery will be reported by the police. What would be the point? From the San Gabriel Valley Tribune:
Wurtz came to collect some property that our victim was holding, Coleman said. But after obtaining the agreed-upon property, (He) wanted more, the lieutenant said.Without a robbery being reported, this justified homicide does not fall under the FBI definition of justified homicide. Here is the requirement for reporting justifiable homicides in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. From the UCR Handbook:
Wurtz then tried to rob McCabe, officials said.
He Tasered our victim, Coleman said. The resident fired in self-defense.
NOTE: Justifiable homicide, by definition, occurs in conjunction with other offenses.
the crime being committed when the justifiable homicide took place must be reported as a separate offense. Reporting agencies should take care to ensure that they do not classify a killing as justifiable or excusable solely on the claims of self-defense or on the action of a coroner, prosecutor, grand jury, or court.
The following scenario illustrates an incident known to law enforcement that reporting agencies would not consider Justifiable Homicide:
17. While playing cards, two men got into an argument. The first man attacked the second with a broken bottle. The second man pulled a gun and killed his attacker. The police arrested the shooter; he claimed self-defense.The scenario quoted is a virtual shorthand for the Progressive Elite model of murder. The UCR even goes so far as to direct reporting agencies *not* to take into account the findings of coroners, prosecutors, grand juries or courts about whether a homicide is justifiable or not; only the FBI's extremely limited definition is to be used.
The rarest, but most serious form of self-defense with a gun is a defensive killing. The FBI does not publish statistics on self-defense killings per se, but it did start publishing counts of civilian justifiable homicides gathered through their Supplementary Homicides Reports program in their 1991 issue. For a variety of reasons, the FBI counts of civilian justifiable homicides represent only a minority of all civilian legal defensive homicides.I have not found any work that refutes these findings. Those who cling to the Progressive Elite model simply state the FBI numbers as fact.
The reason is simple. The FBI UCR cooks the books by its definition.
THE UCR (uniform crime report) does not necessarily cook the books, it just does not differentiate which homicides are justified...that way no one actually knows.
Now inaccuracies come from some Departments not filing or not filing on time each year, if required to do so.
The UCR statistics are complied from all City Police Departments and County Sheriff Departments with over a certain population number in the USA. The FBI usually is two to three years before posting the data, since it takes a while to assemble and get accurate statistics, according to what they receive for each year.
And that doesn’t even begin to address the vast number of defensive uses of arms that don’t involve firing the weapon. I have had one of those, and I don’t show up in any statistics - to the contrary, it prevented me from landing there in some manner.
Someone asked me about this just the other day when I posted a story about the murder rate in Detroit being down 24% this year from last year. If the 15 or so justifiable homicides are removed from the 90 murders this year the difference would be noteworthy.
That probably happens even more than actual shootings.
Like a Sheriff detective friend of mine always said, The FBI couldn't follow a menstruating elephant in a snowbank!
The article quotes the FBI instructions to the people who fill out the UCR forms.
It gives a definition of what they consider to be justifiable homicides.
That definition eliminates the vast majority of what a court or prosecutor would consider to be justifiable homicides.
I call that “cooking the books”.
A lot of what is done statistically is for general use. There are a lot of categories of statistical reports at the FBI website. I’m not sure about justifiable homicides, since the call for that report is not a great as others.
The ‘city comparison’ data only uses one homicide rate as a total, which is a main research use by all citizens when moving and relocating, it’s in the crime category.
The police/sheriff offices may want a different statistic report for their individual area. So, yes... they want the data for internal purposes on justifiable homicide, however is it useful for the general crime statistics, that’s a debate for law enforcement vs FBI? How they arrive at ‘what is justifiable homicide’ is determined by the courts....more or less.
From the UCR handbook:
“Reporting agencies should take care to ensure that they do not classify a killing as justifiable or excusable solely on the claims of self-defense or on the action of a coroner, prosecutor, grand jury, or court.”
Maybe I am misinterpreting what is going on here. Can you show me some other interpretation that says to use court findings?
The above pretty clearly says not to rely on what a court has found, but to apply the FBI criteria.
If you charge a man with Manslaughter, and he proves in court with an attorney... it is a justifiable homicide and it is ruled as such...don’t you think that changes that statistic?
Now self defense in some homicides will keep the issue out of court if it’s obvious, or a lesser offense is charged....some of that can end up a ‘plea bargain’ case that never goes to court.
It’s not a cut and dried issue. Mistakes will be made depending on how accurate or dedicated the Police/Sheriff’s Department is in correcting information.... if reported erroneously on a UCR.
NO ONE says to use court findings, however my first paragraph shows how that can change the statistic in a court case.
When the feds are incapable, the first inclination is to come up with a better standard, and try to get individual states to incorporate it.
Importantly, there is some subtlety involved, because states do not want to be thought of as “murder capitals”, so likely at least a dozen red states would have to join in principle before it could work. I say red states, because most of the violence happens in blue states, so they are dead set against honest reporting.
However, when the red states do report accurate numbers, the tremendous jump in the statistics is going to put a lot of pressure on the blue states, who will still have sky high homicide rates, but bottom of the barrel gun self defense numbers.
The article shows how the FBI says to report justified homicides in the UCR.
I suspect that most agencies follow the UCR instructions on how they fill out UCR reports.
The FBI has been reporting numbers of justified homicides at least since 1991.
This shows why the UCR numbers are only a small fraction of actual justified homicides.
Okay...I don’t get why you think what you are saying is any different from what I said. Go to FBI website if you have other questions.
We can agree to agree!
Or those, where a crook decides against a crime because someone is observed to have a weapon, or because the crook correctly believes someone has a weapon, or because a crook decides it's likely that someone has a weapon. In many such cases, the person with the weapon (or who was believed to have had one) might be entirely unaware of the crooks' aborted intentions.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.