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Editorial

Getting away with murder is way too easy in Boston

BOSTON POLICE hope to solve an abiding mystery with the help of $500,000 from the Department of Justice: Why is it so easy to get away with murder in Boston?

Despite changes in personnel and tactics, the homicide unit solved just 23 of 62 homicides, or 37 percent, in 2011, lagging behind the national average of about 60 percent. While there is no doubt that Boston’s mostly drug- and gang-involved murders are harder to solve than crimes of passion, other cities including Philadelphia, Denver, and San Diego manage significantly higher clearance rates despite having similar social challenges. And while a strict code of silence can inhibit witness cooperation, police departments in other urban areas are often better at cracking it.

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