Quantifying Homicide Injuries: A Swedish Time Trend Study Using the Homicide Injury Scale

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Abstract

Studies report that the homicide rate has decreased considerably in most Western countries since the 1990s. However, few studies have examined the level of injury in homicides. The injury severity in homicide victims was studied in the Stockholm area using both the Homicide Injury Scale (HIS) and the number of lethal injuries per victim. Cases were included from four periods; 1976-78, 1986- 88, 1996-98, and 2006-08. The number of homicides with overkill according to the HIS was significantly higher in 1996-98 compared to 1976-78. Compared with 1976-78, the number of lethal injuries per victim was significantly higher both in 1986-88 and 1996-98. There are various possible reasons for the changes, including a brutalization of lethal violence or a more effective trauma care. More in-depth analysis of individual cases together with research on victims of attempted homicides is needed to explain these shifts in injury severity.

References

  • [1] Sturup J. Karlberg D. Fredriksson B. Lihoff T. Kristiansson M. Risk assessments and recidivism among a population-based group of Swedish offenders sentenced to life in prison Crim Behav Ment Health 2016 26 124-135

  • [2] Sturup J. Lindqvist P. Homicide and psychosis 1987-2006 - A Swedish time trend analysis International Journal of Forensic Mental Health 2014 1-7

  • [3] Granath S. (2007) The justice System`s response to youth crime 1980-2005. Stockholm University Stockholm

  • [4] Jerre K. Tham H. (2010) The Swedes’ view on punishment (Svenskarnas syn på straff). Institution of Criminology Stockholm

  • [5] Douglas J.E. Burgess A.W. Burgess A.G. Ressler R.K. (eds) (2006) Crime Classification Manual: A standard system for investigating and classifying violent crimes. 2 edn. Jossey-Bass San Fransisco

  • [6] Allen R. Measuring the Severity of Physical Injury Among Assault and Homicide Victims Journal of Quantitative Criminology 1986 2 139-156

  • [7] Gennarelli T.A. Wodzin E. (eds) (2008) Abbreviated Injury Scale 2005 - Update 2008. Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine Barrington

  • [8] Baker S.P. O’Neill B. Haddon W. Jr. Long W.B. The injury severity score: a method for describing patients with multiple injuries and evaluating emergency care J Trauma 1974 14 187-196

  • [9] Tohira H. Jacobs I. Mountain D. Gibson N. Yeo A. Systematic review of predictive performance of injury severity scoring tools Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation & Emergency Medicine 2012 20

  • [10] Tamsen F. Klötz-Logan F. Thiblin I. Homicide Injury Quantification: Correlations and Reliability of Injury Severity Scores Applied to Homicide Victims Homicide Studies 2015 19 88-100

  • [11] Safarik M.E. Jarvis J.R. Examining attributes of homicides - Toward quantifying qualitative values of injury severity Homicide Studies 2005 9 183-203

  • [12] Karlsson T. Sharp force homicides in the Stockholm area 1983-1992 Forensic Science International 1998 94 129-139

  • [13] Ericsson A. Thiblin I. Injuries inflicted on homicide victims. A longitudinal victiminologic study of lethal violence Forensic Sci Int 2002 130 133-139

  • [14] Harris A.R. Thomas S.H. Fischer G.A. Hirsch D.J. Murder and Medicine. The Lethality of Criminal Assault 1960-1999. Homicide Studies 2002 6 128-166

  • [15] Potenza B.M. Hoyt D.B. Coimbra R. Fortlage D. Holbrook T. Hollingsworth-Fridlund P. Trauma Res Educ F. The epidemiology of serious and fatal injury in San Diego county over an 11-year period Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection and Critical Care 2004 56 68-75

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  • [1] Sturup J. Karlberg D. Fredriksson B. Lihoff T. Kristiansson M. Risk assessments and recidivism among a population-based group of Swedish offenders sentenced to life in prison Crim Behav Ment Health 2016 26 124-135

  • [2] Sturup J. Lindqvist P. Homicide and psychosis 1987-2006 - A Swedish time trend analysis International Journal of Forensic Mental Health 2014 1-7

  • [3] Granath S. (2007) The justice System`s response to youth crime 1980-2005. Stockholm University Stockholm

  • [4] Jerre K. Tham H. (2010) The Swedes’ view on punishment (Svenskarnas syn på straff). Institution of Criminology Stockholm

  • [5] Douglas J.E. Burgess A.W. Burgess A.G. Ressler R.K. (eds) (2006) Crime Classification Manual: A standard system for investigating and classifying violent crimes. 2 edn. Jossey-Bass San Fransisco

  • [6] Allen R. Measuring the Severity of Physical Injury Among Assault and Homicide Victims Journal of Quantitative Criminology 1986 2 139-156

  • [7] Gennarelli T.A. Wodzin E. (eds) (2008) Abbreviated Injury Scale 2005 - Update 2008. Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine Barrington

  • [8] Baker S.P. O’Neill B. Haddon W. Jr. Long W.B. The injury severity score: a method for describing patients with multiple injuries and evaluating emergency care J Trauma 1974 14 187-196

  • [9] Tohira H. Jacobs I. Mountain D. Gibson N. Yeo A. Systematic review of predictive performance of injury severity scoring tools Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation & Emergency Medicine 2012 20

  • [10] Tamsen F. Klötz-Logan F. Thiblin I. Homicide Injury Quantification: Correlations and Reliability of Injury Severity Scores Applied to Homicide Victims Homicide Studies 2015 19 88-100

  • [11] Safarik M.E. Jarvis J.R. Examining attributes of homicides - Toward quantifying qualitative values of injury severity Homicide Studies 2005 9 183-203

  • [12] Karlsson T. Sharp force homicides in the Stockholm area 1983-1992 Forensic Science International 1998 94 129-139

  • [13] Ericsson A. Thiblin I. Injuries inflicted on homicide victims. A longitudinal victiminologic study of lethal violence Forensic Sci Int 2002 130 133-139

  • [14] Harris A.R. Thomas S.H. Fischer G.A. Hirsch D.J. Murder and Medicine. The Lethality of Criminal Assault 1960-1999. Homicide Studies 2002 6 128-166

  • [15] Potenza B.M. Hoyt D.B. Coimbra R. Fortlage D. Holbrook T. Hollingsworth-Fridlund P. Trauma Res Educ F. The epidemiology of serious and fatal injury in San Diego county over an 11-year period Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection and Critical Care 2004 56 68-75

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