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Homicide in California, 2011

NCJ Number
Date Published
50 pages
This report presents data on homicide and its victims in California for 2011 and prior years, as well as demographic data on persons arrested for homicide, the number of persons sentenced to death, the number of justifiable homicides, and the number of peace officers killed in the line of duty.
There were 1,794 homicides reported by law enforcement agencies in California in 2011, a 0.8-percent decrease from the 1,809 reported in 2010, and a 25-percent decrease from the 2,397 reported in 2002. The homicide clearance rate of 61.9 percent was the first decrease in this figure since 2005. Of the homicide victims, 80.8 percent were male. Of the homicides in which the victim's race/ethnicity was identified, 42.7 percent were Hispanic, 27.4 percent were Black, 22.4 percent were White, and 7.5 percent were categorized as "other." The largest proportion of Hispanic and Black victims were aged 18-29; over half of White victims were 40 years old or older. Of the homicide in which the weapon was identified, 70 percent involved a firearm. Of the homicide in which the contributing circumstances were known, 32.1 percent were gang-related; 27 percent were the result of an unspecified argument; and 11.8 percent involved domestic violence. Males composed 88.1 percent of homicide arrestees. Regarding homicide arrestee race/ethnicity, 43.6 percent were Hispanic, 26.8 percent were Black, 21.9 percent were White, and 7.6 percent were categorized as "other." Persons 18-29 years old composed 54.4 percent of homicide arrestees. By the end of 2011, there were 724 persons under a death sentence in California. Of these, 10 were sentenced in 2011. There were 136 homicide ruled justifiable in 2011. Since 2002, 41 California peace officers have been feloniously killed in the line of duty. Two were killed in 2011. 43 tables and appended discussion of data characteristics and known limitations as well as computational formulas