Mark Twain once said "Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable," which is exactly why I didn't include some statistics in today's story about the Pima County Attorney's Office and how murder cases are resolved.
Having said that, however, I still find some statistics interesting. I'll throw them out here and you can decide for yourselves, what they mean, if anything.
I just ask that you take into consideration what was said in today's story when reaching any conclusions. Every homicide case is different, afterall.
Between 2007 and 2011, TPD handled 131 homicide cases, PCSD handled 63 and the 11 others I looked at were split among various smaller agencies.
67 percent of TPD's cases went to trial; 88 percent of PCSD's cases went to trial. (Meaning the rest were dismissed or were resolved via plea agreements.)
48 percent of TPD's cases resulted in the defendant being convicted of a less serious charge than what they were facing.
26 percent of PCSD's cases resulted in the defendant being convicted of a less serious charge than what they were facing.
Twenty-one of the 40 people convicted of first-degree murder had been arrested by TPD. Sixteen were arrested by PCSD. (This stat includes those convicted by a jury or through a plea agreement.)
81 percent of TPD's cases resulted in someone being convicted of a less serious crime than charged. (When you combine pleas and trials.)
70 percent of PCSD's cases resulted in someone being convicted of a less serious crime than charged. (When you combine pleas and trials.)
Here are some odds and ends for you, too:
The average age of the suspects was 31.
The average case took 15.4 months to resolve.
And, although it appears to be statistically insignificant, since the question of nationality seems to come up regularly among story commenters, here are the numbers: 16 people, or 8 percent of 204 defendants, in the study were Mexican citizens. The records don't reflect whether they were legal or illegal immigrants.