Philadelphia is one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Each year, roughly 200-300 people are murdered in Philadelphia, and the total number of homicides has steadily increased over the last three years. The steady rise comes after a peak of 331 homicides in 2012.
In 2013, there were 246 homicides. In 2014, there were 248, and in 2015, there were 280. So far this year, there have been 23 homicides, compared to 29 in 2015 for the same period. While it’s possible the total number of murders in Philadelphia will decrease in 2016, it’s unlikely given the steady increase over the last few years. Data source: Phillypolice.com
Murder Investigations in Philadelphia
Of the total number of murders in Philadelphia, roughly half are solved. In 2015, a little over 50% of murder investigations resulted in an arrest. That’s a marked decrease from 2013 when over 70% of homicides resulted in an arrest.
In addition to increases in the number of unsolved murder cases each year, the number of nonfatal shootings has increased by roughly 20%, and drug-related murders have also increased. In 2015, there was a 55% increase in the number of drug-related killings in Philadelphia.
Drug-related killings account for the most common types of criminal murder case in the Philadelphia court system. There are literally dozens of murder charges filed each year due to drugs. For instance, one drug dealer may rob and kill another drug dealer over drug dealing turfs. Drug overdose deaths are increasing as well. With heroin use reaching epidemic proportions, there has been a stark increase in the number of murder charges filed for drug dealing resulting in death, (18 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Section 2506. Drug delivery resulting in death.)
The West Philadelphia (Phila. P.D. 19th District) and Port Richmond/Frankford (Phila. P.D. 24th District) areas are considered hotbeds of activity.
Criminal Murder Cases in Philadelphia
Individuals who face murder charges in Philadelphia face steep prison sentences. A first degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life in prison sentence or death sentence. The sentence for a second degree murder conviction (felony murder) is life in prison.
For drug related deaths where an individual dies due to ingesting drugs, i.e., overdoses, the person who provided the drugs faces up to 40 years in prison. That’s just for the crime of drug dealing resulting in death.
If you or a loved one is facing murder charges in Philadelphia, please call our criminal attorneys for a free consultation. (215) 564-0644
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