No way of knowing whether cities of refuge actually functioned as intended.
Actually, Babylon was not the earliest known city of refuge. Even before the flight of Marduk-Re, it appears that the god Sin took refuge in Harran near Edessa of Armenia. But in the end this did not appear to save him. (I was watching the new PBS special "Walking the Bible" tonight. They filmed in the ancient city of Edessa and also showed the ruins at Harran as part of a segment on Abraham. This was about the only highlight of the show for me.)
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.