Archives: Death Penalty Appeals

Subscribe to Death Penalty Appeals RSS Feed

Reviewing the Justices’ Voting Records in Death Penalty Appeals, 1994-2017 (Part 2)

Yesterday, we reviewed the individual Justices’ voting records in death penalty appeals for the years 1994 through 2005.  Today, we look at the second half of our study period, 2006 through 2017. In Table 303, we report the percentage of each Justice’s votes in death penalty cases which were to affirm or to reverse in … Continue Reading

Reviewing the Justices’ Voting Records in Death Penalty Appeals, 1994-2017 (Part 1)

Last week, we looked at how often the Justices voted with the majority in death penalty appeals, regardless of whether the decision was to affirm, reverse in part while affirming the sentence, reverse in part and vacate the sentence, or reverse outright.  This week, we’re looking at the Justices’ votes themselves. In Table 555, we … Continue Reading

Measuring Influence in Death Penalty Cases – Which Justices Were Most Often in the Majority (Part 2)?

Yesterday, we began our review of the individual Justices’ voting records in death penalty cases, discussing the data on the percentage of the time each Justice voted with the majority in death penalty appeals for the years 1994 through 2005.  Today, we address the second half of our study period, 2006 through 2017. Incredibly, for … Continue Reading

Measuring Influence in Death Penalty Cases – Which Justices Were Most Often in the Majority (Part 1)?

Earlier this week, we reviewed the data on the percentage of the time each Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court voted with the majority in death penalty cases.  Today and tomorrow, we’ll be reviewing the same measure for the California Supreme Court during the years 1994 through 2017. We begin with the years 1994 through … Continue Reading

Were Majority Opinions in Death Penalty Cases Longer or Shorter When the Court Reversed?

Yesterday, we began our review of the Court’s majority opinions in death penalty appeals between 1994 and 2017, focusing on complete affirmances and partial reversals where the sentence was affirmed.  Today, we review the second half of our analysis: partial reversals where the sentence was vacated, and complete reversals. In Table 291, we report the … Continue Reading

Who Has Written the Court’s Majority Opinions in Death Penalty Cases?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been reviewing the death penalty jurisprudence of the Illinois and California Supreme Courts on this blog and the Illinois Supreme Court Review.  This week, we’re reviewing the Court’s majority opinions. In Table 287, we report the data on majority opinions in death penalty affirmances.  Justice Chin has written 51 … Continue Reading

Which Counties Had Lesser Affirmance Rates in Death Penalty Cases?

Yesterday, we reviewed the data for the year-by-year numbers of mandatory death penalty appeals decided by the California Supreme Court.  Today, we review the overall affirmance rates, county by county. For the entire period, the Court has decided 425 death penalty appeals.  The Court has affirmed 342 in all respects.  The Court has partially reversed … Continue Reading

Do Some Counties Have Higher Reversal Rates in Death Penalty Cases?

This week, we’re continuing our comparative analysis of the death penalty appeal cases, both here and over at the Illinois Supreme Court Review.  The discussion is particularly timely for California given the Supreme Court’s decision largely upholding the controversial death penalty initiative adopted in November by the voters.  This week, we disaggregate the Court’s overall … Continue Reading

How Often Did the California Supreme Court Reverse Death Penalty Judgments (Part 2)?

Earlier this week, we began analyzing the Illinois Supreme Court’s experience with automatic death penalty appeals.  Yesterday, we began our review of the California Supreme Court’s record, beginning with the year 1994. In Table 279, we review the Court’s partial and complete reversal rate for the years 2002 through 2009.  In 2002, the Court affirmed … Continue Reading

How Often Did the California Supreme Court Reverse Death Penalty Judgments (Part 1)?

Earlier this week, we began our review of the Illinois Supreme Court’s record with death penalty appeals between 1990 and the abolition of the death penalty in 2011.  Today and tomorrow, we’re comparing the California Supreme Court’s data on death penalty cases. In Table 276, we report the number of death penalty appeals the Court … Continue Reading

How Long Does the Typical Death Penalty Appeal Take to Decide Following the Oral Argument?

For the past few weeks, we’ve been taking a close look at the California Supreme Court’s automatic death penalty appeals docket.  Yesterday, we calculated the average time from appointment of counsel to the scheduled oral argument and looked at whether the total time under submission told us anything about what the ultimate result would be.  … Continue Reading

How Long is the Typical Death Penalty Appeal Pending at the California Supreme Court?

Last week, we continued our analysis of the California Supreme Court’s death penalty docket, tracing the number of cases which the Court decides every year, the fraction of the docket that’s decided unanimously, and the frequency with which the Court reverses in part or outright. Today we turn our attention to a controversial topic: how … Continue Reading

What Is the Supreme Court’s Reversal Rate for Death Penalty Appeals?

Yesterday, we began our review of the California Supreme Court’s death penalty docket, looking at both the number of cases the Court decides each year, and its usual unanimity rate.  Today, we turn our attention to a new question: what’s the reversal rate? We must begin by defining our terms.  As we showed earlier, death … Continue Reading

How Many of the Court’s Automatic Death Penalty Appeals Are Decided Unanimously?

Last week, we completed our look at the Court’s majority opinions across the spectrum from civil to non-death criminal cases to the Court’s docket of mandatory death penalty appeals.  With the constitutional challenge to the Proposition 66 death penalty referendum still pending before the California Supreme Court, let’s take a closer look at the Court’s … Continue Reading
LexBlog