While clearance rates of homicides have declined over the last three decades, there still remains limited research on the topic. In recent studies, scholars had argued that legal factors best explained homicide clearance. They stated that extralegal variables that had proven to be important and significant for explaining other processes in the criminal justice system were not as helpful in explaining homicide clearance. This article challenges those findings. Utilizing multiple regression and event history analysis techniques, this article shows that extralegal variables such as the gender and race or ethnicity of the victim affect the likelihood of clearance and time needed for solving the murder. The research examined all homicides committed in Los Angeles County from 1990 through 1994. Findings demonstrated that some victims "received more law," as Donald Black argued, and that not all victims' lives were equally valued.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science