Harrisburg, PA: Today PBPC released a new paper, The Truth About Murder in PA, that puts the rise in murder in the state, and especially in Philadelphia, in a broader context. The paper shows that murder increased around the country between 2019 and 2021 likely as a result of the pandemic. Murders in Philadelphia went up at roughly the same rate in the 38 of the largest cities in the country for which data is available. And they went up in Philadelphia less than in many other counties in the state. In addition it appears that murder rates went up around the country more in states that vote for Donald Trump than in states that voted for Joe Biden.
We also found that murder increase much faster in the counites represented by the three leading Republican critics of District Attorney Krasner in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives than in Philadelphia. Representative Tim O’Neal represents Washington County where murders increased by 800% during the pandemic. Representative Torren Ecker represents Adams County which saw an increase of 300% in murders between 2019 and 2021. Representative Josh Kail represents Beaver County which saw a 250% increase in murders in this same period. Meanwhile, murders increased in Philadelphia by 58% during this period, which is close to the 47% average for all PA counties (excluding those that had zero murders in 2019).
The paper concludes with an evaluation of alternative strategies for reducing the murder rate. We show that not only has the right-wing strategy of imprisoning more people failed but that many Republican legislators have acknowledge that failure. The evidence we have shows that reducing the availability of guns and reducing poverty and inequality are the best ways to reduce murder rates in our cities and states. Sadly, these are two policies that the Republican extremists who are seeking to impeach Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner reject.
Launched formally in 2007, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) is a nonpartisan, statewide policy research project of the Keystone Research Center that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget, and related policy matters with attention to the impact of policy proposals on working individuals and families.
PBPC’s vision is that all Pennsylvania taxpayers will enjoy a system of taxation that is fair and progressive and that raises sufficient revenue to provide quality public services and economic prosperity.
PBPC provides information and analysis on short-term budget, policy, and revenue proposals as well as long-term trends and challenges.
PBPC is part of a national network of similar organizations in more than half the states as part of the State Priorities Partnership coordinated by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
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