Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Louisiana: Murder capital of the United States

Being charged with murder is something that will forever change your life. You need to protect yourself and defend your reputation while you fight those charges. Unfortunately, Louisiana as a state has a poor reputation for violence that could play against you in court. Here are some statistics that you should know, because they may come up in the prosecutor's case against you.

Statistics aren't enough to convict you, of course, but they can be used to color a jury's opinion. Louisiana has reportedly been recognized as the murder capital of the United States. That, of course, does color some people's perspective of the state. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's crime report for 2012 showed that the southern American states are more violent than the rest of the country, with Louisiana having 10.8 murders and nonnegligent manslaughter cases per 100,000 people that year.

Why are murder rates so high in Louisiana? It's believed that poverty in some areas along with lax gun laws and sometimes-extreme hot weather could be the factors leading to more violence. In 2012, Louisiana passed an amendment that made owning guns a fundamental right, similar to free speech. People in the state can also apply for concealed carry handgun permits that last a lifetime.

It's been found by researchers that hot weather and warm climates can also lead to violence. Combined with the gun laws and poverty, which Louisiana has faced due to a number of recent and long-term issues, the three main factors tend to lead to higher murder rates.

It's been argued that the demographics of the state may also play a role in murder rates. The population is 32-percent black, while most areas are 13 percent on average. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blacks are the most frequent victims of gun violence.

Source: Business Insider, "Why Louisiana Is The Murder Capital Of America" Erin Fuchs, Sep. 09, 2014

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