RESPONDING TO OUR READERS — A Closer Look At Crime In Canada and The USA

THIS ARTICLE IS A REPLY TO SEVERAL QUESTIONS WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM READERS.

In one of our most read articles, How Canada Would Deal With The Elkhart 4, we argue that Curtis Hill was not truthful when he announced his decision to pursue felony murder charges against The Elkhart 4.  He stated “People breaking into homes when there is someone there or someone not there, it has to stop and from our stand point we are going to use every available measure under the law to stop it.”  We do not believe this argument.  We argued that if long harsh prison sentences worked the USA would be the safest country in the world given the huge rate of incarceration in the USA compared with other western democracies.  We also argue that Curtis Hill’s motivation in charging were based on political advantage.

One of the statistics we have discussed in great detail is comparing the 2013 murder rates in Toronto Canada and Marion County Indianapolis.  Toronto has a current population of about 2.7 million residents and Marion County’s current population is about 920 000.  As of writing this on September 17, 2013 Toronto has had 42 homicides and Marion County has had 98.

We have received pushback from our readers in our decision to  compare these two cities.  Arguments put forward by our readers talk about diversity and liberalism.  We have also been attacked for these statistics on other forums.  We stand by our initial writing.

This morning and article appeared online about Chicago becoming the murder capital of the USA.  The article listed 15 cities (including Indianapolis) which passed the 100 number of murders in 2012.

This got us thinking . . .  we decided to list the top 10 cities in Canada and the USA by 2012 population and by the number of murders in 2012.  We then calculated how many murders there were per 100 000.  Here are our results.

USA and Canada 2012 Murder Rates

The rate of murders between Canada and the USA in the top 10 cities is startling and convincing.  The murder rate in the USA is much higher.  In the USA something is going right in San Diego and in Canada there is a concern in Winnipeg.  If you compare the murder rate between the USA and other countries you will find the same difference in data (except for Mexico and Estonia)  Here is a chart which shows the murder rater per 100 000 people in several countries.  As you can see Canada is significantly lower than the USA.

Crime Stats 2

So what are the differences?

Canada does not have the felony murder rule.  Canada rarely charges people under the age of 18 as adults.  Canada, especially for juveniles attempts redemption.

The USA on the other hand likes to send people to prison for a large amount of time.  Here are the stats.

Crime-Stats-1

This is not to say there are not problems in Canada, but there are some successes.  Can we not learn form those successes?  Why is their murder rate lower?  Why are their streets safer even though they don’t need to have a massive industrial prison complex?

Most importantly has Curtis Hill and the politicians in Indiana made any attempt to look at what is going on in places like Canada to see if they can use some of their strategies as they try to make the community safer.

We strongly believe that the actions of Mr. Hill in the Elkhart 4 case reflect a politician desperate for political success who is ignoring clear evidence that the criminal justice system is failing.  Mr. Hill’s tenure as Elkhart County Prosecutor has been permanently stained by his actions in this case.  In his ongoing quest for political success he has decided to forego redemption for The Elkhart 4.  This is a shameful legacy!

References:

Most US Cities Murder Numbers: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/19/fbi-chicago-officially-america-murder-capital/

 OTHER US CITIES MURDER NUMBERS

San Antonio — http://sacurrent.com/news/murder-city-police-stats-show-2012-had-more-kills-in-san-antonio-1.1433130

San Diego — http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Jan/13/tp-murder-rises-second-year-in-row/

San Jose — http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Bay-Area-homicide-rate-rises-in-2012-4189892.php

Marion County – http://www.indystar.com/article/20130625/INTERACTIVE01/306250077/Interactive-Marion-County-homicide-map

CANADIAN CITIES MURDER NUMBERS

Toronto – http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/statistics/ytd_stats.php

Montreal — http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/underworld-hits-account-for-majority-of-montreal-s-2012-murders-1.1098768

Calgary — http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/12/20/map-of-homicides-in-calgary-in-2012

Ottawa — http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2012/12/06/graphics-ottawa-area-homicides-in-2012/

Edmonton — http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/12/30/edmonton-homicide-numbers-plunge-in-2012-following-an-anomaly–year-in-2011

Mississauga and Brampton — http://www.bramptonguardian.com/news-story/3095158-city-had-three-murders-in-2012/

Winnipeg — http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/homicide-down-in-murder-capital-185038911.html

Vancouver – https://vancouver.ca/police/Planning/StatsDistrict/2012/2011-2012YTD.pdf

Hamilton — http://www.hamiltonpolice.on.ca/NR/rdonlyres/4432A63A-2D8A-49C3-83A5-447F98A2D401/0/CrimeStatisticsInHamilton2003_2012.pdf

People in prison graph: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2223626/Prisons-America-breaking-point-million-citizens-bars.html

Chart comparing murders per 100 000 people: http://www.civitas.org.uk/crime/crime_stats_oecdjan2012.pdf

2 comments

  • I have been wanting to ask why Blake the youngest and was 16 at the time was charged with 55 years? The boy that lived across the street and planned this got the less for being a lookout?
    I feel Blakes age should have played a hudge factor in his charges. He made a bad mistake they all did. They also lost the life of a friend.
    Being inside a closet scared and three of them having a gun unloading on them and their friend laying on them dead then Blake was shot should be enuf to stop this behavior for the rest of their lives.
    I agree this law should only be used if they commited the murder. I really dislike the term The Elkhart 4. I don’t like labeling them. They did intend on a robbery of a home they thought was empty. I also feel for the man who’s house was broke into & I wish he would of called the police. Many things about this case does not make sense.
    Also in prison its brutal. These young boys will be raped. They can be killed. In prison there are drugs. Will the Prosecutor be there to help them when these things happen? I’m very frightened for all of them.

    • I think your question about why Blake was given 55 years needs to be directed at Curtis Hill. It is his decision that led to this injustice and no one has ever really challenged him on it. The media have given him a free pass and there has been no real pressure on him. That is why this site exists to keep this case accessible to the public. I suspect that Curtis Hill would rather these boys go quietly to prison and he moves onto the next case. Those of us who think this is an injustice can’t let that happen.

      I appreciate you comment about the use of the term “Elkhart 4” and the fact that it is labelling these boys. You are 100% correct that this case involved 4 individuals and we need to remember that they are four distinct individuals with different families, friends, aspirations and dreams. The state denied them the ability to present an individual defence when they ordered a joint trial. As I have mentioned on this site I am not associated with any friends or family involved in this case. I am not advocating for one, but for all four of them. I needed an easy reference for them and am using “Elkhart 4”. I am also using this term because it reminds me of the WM3 (West Memphis 3) which is the term supporters used as they worked tirelessly to free the Jason Baldwin, Jesse Misskelley and Damian Echols. This case reminds me a lot of the WM3 case and I think supporters of Blake, Levi, Jose and Anthony can learn a lot by studying what people did in the WM3 case.

      I agree with you that the next few years are going to be tough for these boys. I hope they all have strong families behind them who will support them through this. I hope they can keep their minds engaged, stay out of trouble and find some way to get through it. The only way I can think of to make things easier is to keep up the pressure and support with the final goal of making their time in prison as short as possible.

      Thanks for commenting.