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Fact-checking those MA crime stats

From NBC's Mark Murray
In this weekend's back-and-forth between Romney and Rudy, Giuliani said this: "Violent crime and murder went up while [Romney] was governor, and I think that that is something that talks about not just an isolated mistake, it talks about a series of mistakes."

Was Giuliani right about the crime statistics under Romney? Yes and no.

According to the FBI, murders (and manslaughter) in Massachusetts increased from 175 incidents in 2005 to 186 in 2006. Robberies also rose from 7,615 in 2005 to 8,047 in 2006. *** UPDATE *** As you can see in the chart below, murders and robberies also increased from 2003 to 2006.

But, overall, violent crimes (which include murder and robbery, but also rape, assault, etc.) decreased in the state -- from 30,196 in 2003, which was Romney's first year as governor, to 28,775 in 2006, which was his last year.