Main | Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Where Will Law & Order
Find New Stories?

Manhattan is headed for the lowest annual number of murders since records first began being kept in 1937. District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced that this year's 65 murders (so far) represent a 40% drop from last year alone.

When Morgenthau first became DA in 1975, there were 648 murders in Manhattan. With more time on their hands, Manhattan's 500 prosecutors have been able to focus more on white collar crime, aiming in particular at Wall Street's stock and banking swindlers.

The irony here is that that gentrification, one of the things that appears to be making Manhattan so much safer, is at the top of most people's list of complaints about the city, as they wring their hands bemoaning the loss of their gritty, dangerous town. (I'm one of those people, sometimes.) Manhattan can now be seen as little more than an 11 mile long floating luxury mall, but we've also got about 600 fewer chalk outlines every year. But even though the so-called "abortion benefit" to the crime rate has been debunked by some, I'm still buying that theory as part of the mix.

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