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Murderers go unpunished in Newark

Jonathan Schuppe and William Kleinknecht of The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger analyzed homicides in Essex County between 1998 and 2003 and found killers went unpunished more often than they went to prison. In the cases in which a defendant was convicted, more than a quarter led to prison sentences of 10 years or less. "Essex County is New Jersey's homicide capital. One in three of the state's killings occur in Newark and surrounding towns. But while taking a life is the most serious criminal offense on the books, police and prosecutors have struggled to put murderers behind bars. " The Star-Ledger, in reviewing the cases and interviewing police, prosecutors, lawyers, community leaders and others during the past six months, found a series of glaring deficiencies in the criminal justice system. The story includes a sidebar about how this story was investigated.

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