Washington Post study: More than 1,000 D.C. homicides remain unsolved

According to The Washington Post, despite a decline in homicides over the past 20 years, more than 1,000 homicides committed in Washington, D.C. between 2000 and 2011 remain unsolved.

Through a 15-month study, The Post found "less than a third" of the nearly 2,300 homicides committed between 2000 and 2011 led to a murder or manslaughter conviction. The paper conducted a similar study in 1993. That study found 25 percent of "homicides between 1988 and 1990 led" to convictions.

Under the reigns of current D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, between 2007 and 2009, 35 percent of homicides led to prosecution - a trend that will continue to rise, the Post's study concluded.

But despite the improvement, such cases remain difficult to solve due, in part, to the motives behind the crimes and community cooperation.

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen said the Post's study wasn't "necessarily a reflection” on his office's ability to prosecute such cases. Machen explained his office measures conviction rates by tracking the number of grand jury indictments and resulting guilty pleas or conviction each year. Last year, Machen's office saw a 75 percent conviction rate.