Why Have Murders Increased During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

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hartford criminal defense lawyerWhile the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect the people’s lives in many ways, one issue that has become a concern is the significant increase in the murder rate throughout the United States. Between 2019 and 2020, the U.S. saw the largest increase in number of murders committed since the 1990s, and the murder rate increased again in 2021. There are a number of possible reasons for this increase, and because so many people may be affected by this issue, it will be important for those involved in these cases to understand how to address potential criminal charges.

Murder Statistics and Potential Reasons for These Trends

In 2020, the total number of murders in the United States increased by nearly 30 percent, with a total of over 21,000 murders. This increase affected people throughout the country in both large cities and areas with lower populations. However, Black people were much more likely to be affected. Nearly half of murder victims in 2020 were Black, and during this time, Black people were eight times more likely to be murdered than white people. While complete data on murders for 2021 have not yet been released, some preliminary data indicate that murders may have increased as much as 15 percent since the previous year.

Even though the specific reasons for the increase in murders is not fully understood, experts believe that there are three primary issues that have led to an increase in violent crime:

  • The pandemic - Many people’s lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has led to a great deal of stress and feelings of despair for some. Fewer people have been able to utilize social services or receive support from government agencies, and this may have led to an increase in crime. Those who are more likely to engage in violent behavior may have had more free time and fewer distractions from work or school. 

  • Policing - The protests over police brutality and racial justice that took place in 2020 may have led police to decrease activities meant to proactively reduce crime. At the same time, many people have lost confidence in the police, and this may have made some people less likely to participate in activities that could prevent crime, while others may have decided to take justice into their own hands. 

  • Guns - The number of firearms purchased in the United States increased significantly in 2020 and 2021. Generally, more guns being in people’s hands tends to lead to more gun violence. At least 77 percent of the murders committed in 2020 involved the use of firearms.

Contact Our Hartford Violent Crimes Defense Attorney

The increase in murders in the United States is troubling, and it is likely that multiple factors have led people to attempt or commit violent crimes. However, those who are accused of committing murder and similar offenses have the right to a fair trial, and they deserve to be able to defend themselves against criminal charges. Woolf Law Firm, LLC provides representation for those who have been charged with these and other offenses, and we can help defendants determine their best options in criminal cases. To arrange a free consultation and learn how we can help you build a successful defense strategy, contact our Connecticut criminal defense lawyer at 860-290-8690.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/18/briefing/crime-surge-homicides-us.html

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/27/us-murder-rate-increase-2020

https://www.vox.com/22578430/murder-crime-2020-2021-covid-19-pandemic


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