Today, we conclude our analysis of the areas of law comprising the California Supreme Court’s criminal docket.
In Table 82 below, we report the numbers of cases falling in each area of law from 2000 to 2015. Automatic death penalty appeals accounted for 331 of the Court’s 969 criminal cases. The Court decided 154 criminal procedure cases, and 122 cases in sentencing law. The Court heard 104 cases in constitutional law.
In Table 83, we report the same data, one area of law at a time, as a percentage of the criminal docket. Automatic death penalty appeals accounted for 34.16% of the criminal caseload from 2000 to 2015. Criminal procedure produced 15.89% of the cases, followed by sentencing law at 12.59% and constitutional law at 10.73%. Violent crimes accounted for 6.81%, with habeas corpus cases at 5.26% and juvenile issues producing 4.75% of the cases. Sex crimes produced 3.61% of the cases, property crimes were 2.37%, and attorney admission and disciplinary cases and drug crimes accounted for 1.44% each. The rarest areas on the criminal docket were vehicle crimes (0.21%), conspiracy crimes (0.31%) and political crimes (0.41%).
Join us back here next Wednesday as we turn our attention to a new area – how important are dissents at the Court of Appeal if you want to wind up on the Supreme Court’s docket?