January 08, 2008
What happened to all those cases?

There was one more thing about this Press cover story about the murder suspect Chuck Rosenthal would rather stay in Venezuela than make a deal to put him in jail:

According to the results of an open records request from the Administrative Office of the District Courts, 1,125 murder cases have been filed in Harris County district courts since Jan. 1, 1999, the year Felicia Ruiz was killed.

Only 33.4 percent of those cases either went to trial or were pled out. Of those cases, 46 percent of the defendants received a sentence less than 30 years while 46.8 percent of the defendants received a sentence equal to or greater than 30 years, and 7.1 percent of the defendants were acquitted.

More than 63 percent of the murder cases filed since 1999 were dismissed.

I'm just boggled by these numbers. I know that a significant number of murders go unsolved, but 63 percent dismissals? Is that normal? I'd love to know what the data look like for other big urban counties in Texas. Can anyone comment on this?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 08, 2008 to Crime and Punishment