03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bloody New Orleans: '07 Murder Rate Sets New Record

It's New Year's Eve, Amateur Night for much of America, but just another reason for revelry in New Orleans.

But the residents of the Crescent City can be forgiven if they want to move on to next year, as 2007 was among the bloodiest in the city's history given its shrunken post-Katrina population. More than 200 people were murdered, giving New Orleans a sky-high homicide rate that triples other cities.

Some blame a lack of economic opportunities, which was exacerbated by the hurricane. Others the overwhelmed and troubled criminal justice system. And those who remain bullish on the city's recovery say the murders are largely confined to certain neighborhoods, and are largely over the drug trade.

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