The crime wave that Salt Lake County District Attorney Lohra Miller cited in pushing for more prosecutors appears to be more fiction than fact, says the Salt Lake Tribune. A closer look at the D.A.’s data show no rise in criminal cases. Actually, felonies have fallen during the past three years, criminal cases are at a five-year low, and total filings have declined steadily since 2003. The numbers contradict Miller’s claims of escalating crime, which she used to coax an extra $1.3 million, including four new prosecutors, from the County Council last week.
Miller stands by her stats and maintains that the county has suffered a real rise in crime. She reported that the Salt Lake County jail processed more first-degree felonies in the first nine months of 2007 than during all of last year, suggesting a spike in the severity of crime. As for the bloated number of felonies cited to the council, Miller said she used “anticipated” filings without realizing the state courts had hard numbers.