Police success in solving homicide cases depends on many factors, including witness cooperation, adequate staffing, efficiency and quality of case management systems, training, timely access to technologies like DNA analysis, and availability of support for investigations (e.g., crime scene investigators, victim/witness advocates).
ILJ work in the area of homicide research includes
Evaluation of the effectiveness of assigning crime scene analysts directly to homicide squads v. assigning them to the crime lab (see Homicide Case Management, Phoenix, AZ).
Research on the benefits for homicide investigations of mapping the distance from suspects’ and victims’ residences to the crime scene (see Journey to Crime).
Analysis of a large police department’s homicide case management system. The study included examination of cold cases from the most recent ten-year period and assistance in implementing management and technology solutions (see Management of Cold Homicide Cases).
Examination of death penalty cases in which convicted offenders were later exonerated by analysis of DNA evidence (see the ILJ report, Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science, published by the U. S. Attorney General’s Office).