Overall, there are higher instances of violent crime in the southern United States than anywhere else in the country, yet one of those states has persistently been named the “Murder Capital of America” for nearly three decades. Louisiana has the highest murder rate in the United States for 28 years in a row. The state’s top two most populated cities — New Orleans and Baton Rouge — were included in the 2012 most dangerous cities in America list compiled using FBI crime data.
Just How High is Louisiana’s Murder Rate?
Louisiana’s murder rate is in the double digits. In 2016, there were 11.8 murders per 100,000 people in Louisiana. In all, 554 people were murdered in a state with a population of 4.7 million people. The state with the second-highest murder rate is Missouri, which had 8.8 murders per 100,000 people that same year. The state with the lowest murder rate of all is New Hampshire, with a rate of 1.3 murders per 100,000 people in 2016 for a state with 1.3 million people. In all, just 17 murders took place in New Hampshire in 2016. These statistics are pulled from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
Why is Louisiana’s Murder Rate So High?
Researchers looking into this gruesome trend can point to three factors that may contribute to a high murder rate. In 2012, the FBI’s crime report found that 68% of all homicides in America involve a firearm. Perhaps not coincidentally, Louisiana has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country. The state passed an amendment to the state constitution that makes owning a firearm a “fundamental right” on par with religious practice and free speech. Additionally, Louisianans can apply for lifetime concealed carry permits and walk around with their guns out in the open without a permit.
Uncomfortably warm weather and poverty aid loose gun laws in concocting the perfect storm for gun violence. Warm temperatures often correlate with crime. As temperatures rise, so too does the rate of violent crime. People who experience financial stress are also more prone to violent acts. Louisiana has the third-lowest median household income in the U.S.
With such a high rate of violent crime, it might not be that difficult to become a murder suspect in Louisiana. If you face charges for murder or other violent crime, attorney Eric Johnson is the murder defense lawyer you need on your case. Eric has over 24 years of experience defending severe felony offenses and has extensive practice negotiating with prosecutors and investigating the facts of the case. Call 318-377-1555 or contact The John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm online for a free case review.