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Resource ID: #19785
Subject: Crime
Source: Baltimore Sun
Date: 2002-09-29



An investigation by the Baltimore Sun revealed that "Baltimore Police were botching homicide cases -- contributing to the acquittals of accused killers in a city that has become notorious as one of the deadliest in the nation. The Sun's series documented that a string of disastrous policy decisions and leadership failures by police commanders has led to the near collapse of the department's homicide unit. At a time when the department was absorbing large numbers of rookies, supervisors failed to notice that a pattern had quietly unfolded in the city's Circuit Court over the preceding five years. Young and inexperienced detectives, technicians and patrol officers were losing or mishandling evidence, trampling crime scenes, violating basic investigative protocols and improperly presenting proof at trial -- resulting in a startling 68 percent failure rate in homicide investigations... The result was a population of suspected violent felons loose on the street, many of whom went on to commit new crimes. In the course of its investigation, The Sun identified a subset of 83 defendants charged with murder and later released who were subsequently rearrested -- including 24 who were indicted in fresh murders or attempted murders."

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