California Department of Justice Releases Latest California Homicide Rate Statistics

Friday, December 2, 2011
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SACRAMENTO -- The California Department of Justice today released the annual “Homicide in California 2010” report showing the rate of homicide crimes per 100,000 in population decreased 7.8 percent from 2009. The total number of homicides declined from 1,970 in 2009 to 1,809 in 2010.

The homicide clearance rate, or percentage of reported crimes that have been solved, has increased for the fifth consecutive year. This year’s rate of 63.8 percent is the highest since 2001.

The “Homicide in California 2010” report details information about the crime of homicide and its victims, demographic data on persons arrested for homicide, and information about the response of the criminal justice system. Also included is information on the death penalty, the number of peace officers killed in the line of duty and justifiable homicides.

Among the highlights:

-80.3 percent of homicide victims were male, 19.7 percent were female.
-44.5 percent of homicide victims were Hispanic, 29.6 percent were black, 18.2 percent were white, and 7.4 percent were categorized as “other.”
-Females were more likely to be killed in their residence, while males were more likely to be killed on streets or sidewalks.
-When the victim-offender relationship was identified, 44.4 percent (the largest proportion) involved victims who were killed by friends or acquaintances. However a greater percentage of black victims were killed by strangers than were white or Hispanic victims (47.7 vs. 25.4 and 35.4, respectively).
-Of homicides where the weapon was identified, the majority (71.2 percent) involved a firearm.
-Of the homicides where the contributing circumstances were known, 36.1 percent were gang-related.

By the end of 2010, there were 709 persons under sentence of death in California. Of these, 34 were sentenced in 2010, 10 of which were in Los Angeles County.

Four California peace officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2010.

A copy of the “Homicide in California 2010” report is attached to the online version of this release at

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PDF icon Homicide in CA Report, 20101.05 MB