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376

August 11, 2010

New Jersey’s murder rate has been steadily dropping, with 376 homicides having been committed in 2008, the most recent year data is available from Crime Reports and Statistics. That number represents a 1 percent drop from 2007, but the lowest figure in five years. However, only 60.6 percent (238) of these murders were cleared -- typically defined as when someone is charged. Of those cleared, 24 percent of the victims were killed by strangers and only 5 percent were committed by juveniles. Domestic violence accounted for 57 murders in 2008. The type of weapon used was most often a handgun (61.7%). Black males were both the most frequent victims and the most frequent offenders, with 237 African-American males murdered that year; 65 percent of those arrested were black and 93 percent male. The most common location for murder was a street or highway and the most murders are committed on Sunday (18%). The largest number of murders occurred in Essex County (107), followed by Camden (64), Hudson (35), Passsaic (28) and Mercer (24).

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