Murder in Maine

Bangor Daily News on June 29:

Maine’s historic homicide average is 24 per year, he said Tuesday, with about half of those classified by police as acts of domestic violence. With the year nearly half over, the state’s homicide rate is not on track to break recent records, he said. Six of this year’s homicides have been classified as “domestics,” he said, including the death of Deborah Littlefield, allegedly at the hands of her husband, Michael Littlefield.

The homicide rate in Maine has had some fluctuations recently, according to information provided by the Maine Department of Public Safety’s Public Information Office. In 2008, when 31 people were killed, it marked a 32 percent increase from the 2007 rate. The 2008 murder rate was the highest since 1989, when 40 people were killed.

Maine has 1.3 million year-round residents (and of course many more people than that during the summer) making the overall murder rate very low. It’s a reminder that even after 15-20 years of generally falling crime, the United States of America as a whole remains a country with a very high level of violent crime. I think this is an underrated problem, with both the crime itself and the crime-evading behavior it engenders being quite costly.