Apr 04 2001


Statement of Senator Richard C. Shelby

The U.S. Senate has voted to designate April 4, 2001 as "National Murder Awareness Day."

In 1999 alone, 15,533 people were murdered in the United States according to FBI statistics. Murder affects not only the victims themselves, but it affects the lives of countless other family members and friends of victims. While murder rates have decreased from their record highs in the 1980s, further improvement is needed as the murder rate in 1999 was still 5.7 per 100,000 inhabitants--24% higher than the 1950 murder rate.

Senator Shelby said, "The murder problem is very serious in our country. I have introduced this resolution with Senator Sessions in the hope that it will raise awareness of the devastating impact murder has on our country. Our resolution recognizes the important role local communities can play in combating the senseless murders that occur each year."

The idea of devoting a day to raising murder awareness originated with Citizens Against Crime, a grassroots victim's rights organization located in Selma, Alabama. This group was successful in having the Alabama state legislature designate April 4, 2000 as Alabama's "Murder Awareness Day." According to Citizens against Crime, this designation was overwhelmingly successful in mobilizing community resources to address the problem of violent crime in Alabama.

Senator Shelby added, "This issue is complex and will require concerted efforts by people and communities throughout our great country."