How Many Death Penalty Cases Does the Court Decide a Year?

Yesterday, we looked at the Court’s year by year caseload in one of the most commonplace areas of law on the civil docket – tort.  Today, we’re looking at the death penalty caseload.  From 1992 to the end of 2017, the Court has decided 470 death penalty cases.

The Court decided thirty-three death penalty cases in 1992, fifteen in 1993, seven in 1994, fifteen in 1995, eight in 1996, fourteen in 1997 and thirteen in 1998.

The Court decided six death penalty cases in 1999, nine in 2000, eleven in 2001, thirteen in 2002, twenty in 2003, twenty-one in 2004 and twenty-six cases in 2005.

The Court decided nineteen death penalty cases in 2006, twenty-three in 2007, twenty-five in 2008, twenty-four per year in 2009 and 2010, twenty-six in 2011 and twenty-five cases in 2012.

The Court decided eighteen death penalty cases in 2013, twenty-three in 2014, seventeen in 2015, twenty-four cases in 2016 and eleven cases in 2017.

Join us back here next Thursday as we take a deeper look at the Court’s tort law caseload.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Nan Palmero (no changes).

How Many Tort Cases Does the Court Decide a Year?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been taking a detailed look at the Supreme Court’s caseload of civil and criminal procedure decisions.  This week and next, we’re looking at the Court’s tort cases on the civil side and reviewing the death penalty decisions on the criminal side.

Between 1992 and the end of 2017, the Court has decided 190 tort law cases.  The Court decided nine cases in 1992, eleven in 1993, twelve in 1994, nine in 1995 and only one in 1996, but ten in 1997 and eighteen in 1998.

The Court decided thirteen tort law cases in 1999, four in 2000, nine in 2001, fourteen in 2002, eight per year in 2003 and 2004, and seven in 2005.

The Court decided only two tort cases in 2006, twelve in 2007, four in 2008, seven in 2009, four in 2010, five in 2011 and six in 2012.

The tort law docket has been somewhat down over the past several years in comparison to the previous twenty years.  The Court decided only two tort cases in 2013, five in 2014, one in 2015, six in 2016 and three in 2017.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review the Court’s death penalty docket, year by year from 1992 to 2017.

Image courtesy of Flickr by D. Coetzee (no changes).

What Kind of Criminal Procedure Case Is the Court Most Likely to Hear?

Yesterday, we examined the nature of the civil procedure cases the Court has taken since 1992, and the Court’s reversal rates in each category.  Today, we’re looking at the Court’s criminal procedure decisions.

Overall, the Court has taken somewhat more cases which the prosecution won below than defendants’ wins – 138 to 115.  The Court has reversed 34.78% of prosecution wins.  The Court affirmed three prosecution wins in 1992, 1 in 1993, 5 in 1994, 2 in 1995, 3 in 1996, 1 in 1997, 5 in 1998, 3 in 1999 and 2 in 2000.  The Court affirmed 6 prosecutions wins per year in 2001, 2002 and 2003, 7 in 2004, 2 in 2005, 3 in 2006, 2007 and 2008, 6 in 2009 and 4 in 2010.  The Court affirmed 2 prosecution wins in 2011, 4 in 2012, 3 in 2013, 4 in 2014, 3 in 2015, 2 in 2016 and 1 in 2017.

In Table 469, we review the Court’s yearly reversal of prosecution wins in criminal procedure cases.  The Court reversed 1 decision a year in 1992, 1993 and 1994, 2 in 1995, 3 in 1996, 2 in 1998, 2 in 1999 and 3 in 2000.  The Court reversed in two cases in 2001, 4 in 2002, 2 each in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, 1 case in 2007, 2 cases in 2008 and 1 case in 2010.  The Court reversed 1 case per year in 2011, 2012 and 2013, 2 in 2014 and 2015 and 4 cases in 2016 and 2017.

Since 1992, the Court has reversed 76.65% of defendants’ wins in criminal procedure cases.  The Court affirmed in 1 defense win in 1992 and 1993, 2 in 1994, 3 in 1996, 1 in 1997 and 1998 and 3 in 1999.  The Court affirmed in 2 cases in 2001 and 2002, 1 per year in 2003, 2004 and 2005, 2 in 2007, 1 in 2008 and 3 in 2010.  The Court affirmed in 1 case in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

In Table 471, we review the yearly data for defendants’ wins which were reversed by the Court.  The Court reversed in 2 cases in 1992, 6 in 1993, 5 in 1994 and 1995, 2 in 1996, 4 in 1997, 2 in 1998, 3 in 1999 and 2 in 2000.  In 2001, the Court reversed in 6 cases.  The Court reversed 5 times in 2002 and 2003, 4 in 2004, 1 in 2005, 4 in 2006, 1 in 2007, 7 in 2008, 3 in 2009 and 4 cases in 2010.  The Court reversed in 1 case in 2011, 4 in 2012, 3 in 2013, 1 in 2014, 3 in 2015 and 2016 and 1 case in 2017.

Overall, the Court has reversed in 55.95% of criminal procedure cases.  That rate hasn’t been entirely consistent from one period to another, however.  Between 1992 and 1995, the Court reversed in 60.53% of its criminal procedure cases.  The Court reversed 52.17% of the time from 1996 to 2000.  The Court reversed in only 49.23% of its criminal procedure cases from 2001 to 2005.  But from 2006 to 2010, the Court reversed 59.18% of the time.  From 2011 to 2017, the Court has reversed in 61.11% of cases.

Join us back here next Thursday as we turn our attention to a new area of law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by gosheshe (no changes).

What Kind of Civil Procedure Case Is the Court Most Likely to Hear?

Last week, we reviewed the year-by-year data on the Court’s docket of civil and criminal procedure cases.  This week, we’re taking a more detailed look at those numbers to answer the same questions we addressed a few weeks ago in the context of constitutional law: (1) does the Court take more plaintiffs’ or defense wins from the Court of Appeal? (2) does the Court have a noticeably higher reversal rate on plaintiffs’ or defense wins? and (3) does the Court reverse more often in procedure cases as a whole than the rest of its docket.

In Table 463, we review the Court’s yearly totals affirming defendants’ wins in civil procedure cases.  For the entire period since 1992, the Court has affirmed defendants’ wins 37 times.  The Court affirmed in 1 case in 1992 and 1994, 4 cases in 1995, 3 in 1997 and 1998, 1 in 1999 and 3 in 2000.  The Court affirmed twice in 2002 and 2003, in 3 cases in 2004, 1 in 2005 and 2006, 5 in 2007 and 1 each in 2008 and 2010.  The Court affirmed 1 defendant’s win in 2013, 2014 and 2016, and 2 in 2017.

The Court has reversed defendants’ wins in civil procedure cases 41 times.  The Court reversed 1 case in 1992, 2 in 1993, 1 each in 1994, 1995 and 1996, 3 in 1997, 1 in 1998, 2 in 1999 and 4 in 2000.  The Court reversed in 1 case in 2001 and 2003, 4 in 2004, 3 in 2005, 4 in 2006 and twice in 2007, 2009 and 2010.  The Court reversed in 2 cases in 2011, 1 in 2012 and 2014, and 2 cases in 2017.

Since 1992, the Court has agreed to hear thirteen more plaintiffs’ wins from the Court of Appeal than defendants’ wins.  The Court has affirmed plaintiffs’ wins in 48 cases: 1 in 1993, 2 in 1995, 1 in 1996, 2 in 1997, 1 in 1998, 6 in 1999 and 3 in 2000.  The Court affirmed in 1 case in 2001, 3 in 2002, 1 in 2003, 2 in 2004, 1 in 2005, 5 in 2006, 2 in 2007 and 1 case per year in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

In 2011 and 2012, the Court affirmed one plaintiff’s win.  The Court affirmed 3 times in 2013, once in 2014 and 2015, in 4 cases in 2016 and 3 cases in 2017.

The Court has reversed 43 plaintiffs’ wins from the Court of Appeal since 1992.  This means that for the entire period, the Court has reversed plaintiffs’ wins at a slightly lesser rate than defendants’ wins – 47%-52%.  The Court reversed one plaintiff’s win in 1992, 2 in 1993, 3 in 1994, 1 in 1995 and 1998, 5 times in 1999 and 2 in 2000.  The Court reversed in 1 case in 2001, 3 in 2002, 1 in 2003 and 2004, 2 in 2005 and 2006, and 1 per year in 2007, 2008 and 2009.  The Court reversed 2 plaintiffs’ wins in 2011 and 2012, 1 per year in 2013, 2014 and 2015, 2 in 2016 and 6 times in 2017.

For civil procedure cases as a whole, the Court has reversed 52.35% of the time since 1992 – slightly below its reversal rate for the entire docket.  The Court reversed in 59.09% of its civil procedure cases from 1992 to 1995, but since that time, the reversal rate has been almost identical over time.  From 1996 to 2000, the Court reversed exactly half the time in civil procedure cases.  The Court reversed 51.52% of the time from 2001 to 2005 and again from 2006 to 2010.  The Court has reversed in 52.5% of its civil procedure cases since 2011.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review the data for the Court’s criminal procedure decisions.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ken Lund (no changes).

How Many Criminal Procedure Cases Does the Court Decide a Year?

Yesterday, we began our examination of the Court’s civil procedure decisions.  Today, we’re looking at the flip side – the Court’s 252 criminal procedure cases.

The Court decided 7 criminal procedure cases in 1992, 9 cases in 1993, 13 cases in 1994, 9 cases in 1995, 11 cases in 1996 and 6 cases in 1997.

In 1998, the Court decided 10 criminal procedure cases.  The Court decided 12 cases in 1999, 7 in 2000, 16 in 2001, 15 cases in 2002 and 14 cases in 2003.

The Court decided 14 criminal procedure cases in 2004.  The Court decided 6 cases in 2005, 8 in 2006, 7 in 2007, 13 cases in 2008 and 9 cases in 2009.

The Court decided 12 criminal procedure cases in 2010.  The Court decided 5 cases in 2011, 10 in 2012, 9 in 2013, 7 in 2014, 8 in 2015, 9 in 2016 and 6 cases in 2017.

Join us back here next week as we continue our analysis of the Court’s civil and criminal procedure decisions.

Image courtesy of Flickr by docentjoyce (no changes).

How Many Civil Procedure Cases Does the Court Decide a Year?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been reviewing in detail the Court’s constitutional law decisions on both the civil and criminal law side.  This week and next, we’re looking at one of the Court’s next most common types of cases – civil and criminal procedure decisions.  Between 1992 and 2017, the Court decided 170 cases involving civil procedure questions.

In Table 455, we review the year-by-year data.  The Court decided 4 civil procedure cases in 1992, 5 in 1993, 5 in 1994, 8 in 1995, 2 in 1996 and 8 in 1997.

In 1998, the Court decided six civil procedure cases.  The Court decided 14 cases in 1999, 12 in 2000, 3 in 2001, 8 in 2002 and 5 cases in 2003.

The Court decided ten civil procedure cases in 2004.  The Court decided 7 cases in 2005, 12 in 2006, 10 in 2007, 3 in 2008 and 4 in 2009.

The Court’s civil procedure caseload was consistent from 2010 through 2014 – 4 cases in 2010, 5 in 2011, 4 in 2012, 5 in 2013, 4 in 2014.  The Court decided 2 civil procedure cases in 2015, 7 cases in 2016 and 13 cases in 2017.

Join us back here tomorrow as we address the Court’s criminal procedure decisions.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Jan Arendtsz (no changes).

What Kind of Constitutional Law Case is the Court Most Likely to Hear in the Criminal Docket?

This week, we’re taking a closer look at what kinds of cases wind up in the Court’s constitutional law docket, and whether the Court is more or less likely to reverse depending on who won below.  Today, we’re reviewing the numbers for the criminal docket.

Yesterday, we showed that the Court has taken roughly equal numbers of conservative and liberal wins from the Court of Appeal on the civil side, but is considerably more likely to reverse conservative decisions.  Similarly, the Court’s criminal law docket is almost evenly divided between cases won by the defendant below – 73 cases – and cases won by the prosecution below – 70 cases.  But the results at the Supreme Court are quite different depending on who won below.  From 1992 to 2017, the Court reversed only 24.29% of prosecution wins in criminal constitutional law cases, while it reversed 83.56% of defendants’ wins.

We review the yearly data for affirmance of prosecution wins in Table 450 below.  The Court affirmed one decision in 1992, one in 1993, two each in 1995 and 1997, six in 1999, two in 2000, three per year in 2001 and 2002 and two in 2004.  In 2005, the Court affirmed in two cases.  The Court affirmed five times in 2006 and 2007, four in 2008, once in 2000, twice in 2010 and one in 2011.  The Court affirmed four times in 2012, once in 2014, once in 2015, twice in 2016 and three times in 2017.

The Court didn’t reverse a single prosecution win in a criminal con law case for the years 1992 through 1998.  The Court reversed once in 1999, twice in 2000, once per year in 2001, 2002 and 2003, three times in 2004 and once per year in 2006, 2007 and 2008.  The Court reversed once in 2010, once in 2011, twice in 2016 and once in 2017.

We review affirmances of defendants’ wins from the Court of Appeal in Table 452.  The Court affirmed in one case per year in 1992, 1994 and 1996.  The Court affirmed three times in 2000 and once each year in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2015.

The yearly data for reversal of defendants’ wins is reported in Table 453.  The Court reversed in two cases per year in 1992 and 1993, four times in 1994, once in 1995, twice in 1996, three times in 1997 and 1998, and twice in 2000.  The Court reversed once in 2001, five times in 2002, three times in 2003, once in 2004 and five times in 2005.

The Court reversed three defendants’ wins in 2006, two in 2007, three in 2008, two in 2009, three each in 2010 and 2011, six in 2012, two in 2013, and one per year in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Overall, the Court reversed completely in 48.59% and reversed in part in another 8.45% of its 142 criminal constitutional law cases, for a total reversal rate of 57.04% – roughly comparable both to the overall reversal rate and to the reversal rate in civil constitutional law cases.

The Court’s reversal rate in criminal constitutional law cases has been relatively consistent across the entire period.  The Court reversed in 53.33% of its cases from 1992 through 1995.  The Court reversed 55.56% of the criminal constitutional law decisions it heard from 1996 through 2000.  Between 2001 and 2005, the Court reversed in 58.82% of its 34 cases.  Between 2006 and 2010, the Court reversed 48.57% of the constitutional law decisions on the criminal docket.

Since 2011, with the ideological split on the Court shifting, the Court’s reversal rate in criminal con law cases has picked up.  Between 2011 and 2016, the Court reversed 73.08% of the time.  Even adding in last year’s two reversals in five cases, the Court has reversed in 67.74% of the criminal constitutional law cases since 2011 – a rate noticeably higher than its trend.

Join us back here next Thursday as we turn our attention to a new issue.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Tristan Loper (no changes).

What Kind of Constitutional Law Case is the Court Most Likely to Hear in the Civil Docket?

Last week, we tracked the Court’s yearly caseload in constitutional law on both the civil and criminal dockets.  This week, we’re digging deeper to answer three questions: (1) does the Court tend to take more conservative or liberal decisions from the Court of Appeal involving constitutional law issues; (2) is the Court more (or less) likely to reverse a conservative or liberal constitutional law decision; and (3) overall, how likely is the Court to reverse in a case involving constitutional law issues in comparison to the rest of the Court’s docket?

Across the entire period, the Court only slightly inclined towards taking conservative Court of Appeal decisions.  Between 1992 and 2017, the Court has decided sixty six civil constitutional law cases where we’ve coded the Court of Appeal decision as conservative and 58 liberal decisions.  The Court is substantially more likely to reverse conservative constitutional law decisions than liberal ones.  The Court has reversed in 66% of the conservative cases, well above its trend reversal rate, but in only half of the liberal cases.

In Table 445, we review the yearly data for affirmance of conservative decisions (typically, but not always, decisions favoring defendants).  In 1992, the Court affirmed two such decisions.  It affirmed one in 1994, three in 1995, one in 1997, two in 2000, one in 2001, three in 2002, four in 2004, one per year from 2005 through 2007 and two in 2010, but none since that time.

In Table 446, we review the data for the much more common result – the reversal of a conservative decision.  The Court reversed three times in 1992, twice each in 1993 and 1994, once in 1995, three times in 1996, twice in 1997, once in 1998, twice in 1999 and once per year in 2000 and 2001.

The Court reversed three times in 2002, twice in 2003, four times in 2004, once in 2005, twice in 2006, four times in 2007, once each in 2009 and 2010, three times in 2011, once in 2012 and 2015, twice in 2016 and once in 2017.

In Table 447, we review the data for affirmance of liberal decisions.  The Court affirmed two liberal decisions in 1992, two per year in 1993 and 1994 and one per year in 1995, 1997 and 1998.  The Court reversed in three cases in 1999, two in 2001, one per year in 2002 and 2003, four in 2004, one in 2005, two in 2006 and one each in 2007 and 2008.  The Court affirmed one liberal decision per year in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and two in 2017.

The Court reversed two liberal constitutional law decisions in 1992, one per year in 1993 and 1994, two in 1995, one in 1997 and three in 1999.  The Court reversed two liberal decisions in 2000, three in 2001, one in 2002, two in 2003, three in 2004, four in 2005, two in 2007 and one in 2008.  The Court has reversed only one liberal constitutional law case on the civil side since that time, in 2017.

So was the Court either more or less likely to reverse in constitutional law cases as a whole?  We address the composite data in Table 449.  For the entire period, the Court decided 129 constitutional law cases on the civil side.  The Court reversed completely in 62 cases and partially in another 10, for an overall reversal rate of 55.81% – roughly the same reversal rate as in the docket as a whole.  Although the Court reversed in five of eight cases in 1992, between 1993 and 1995, it reversed only 40% of the time across twenty cases.  Between 1996 and 1999, the Court reversed at a slightly higher rate of 68.42%.

For the years 2000 through 2002, the Court reversed in half its 34 constitutional law cases.  Between 2003 and 2008, things picked up again, as the Court reversed 67.65% of the time.  In the years since, the Court has been less likely to reverse in constitutional law cases than the rest of its civil docket, reversing completely in 37.5% of its civil con law cases, and reversing in part in another 8.33%.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review the data on the Court’s constitutional law decisions on the criminal law side of the docket.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Heidi (no changes).

Constitutional Law at the Court, Part 2 – How Many Criminal Con Law Cases Does the Court Decide a Year?

Yesterday, we began a review of the Court’s constitutional law caseload on the civil side of the docket.  Today, we begin our review of the Court’s criminal constitutional law cases.

The Court decided four criminal cases in 1992 which principally involved constitutional law issues.  The Court decided three cases in 1993, five in 1994 and three each in 1995 and 1996.

The Court decided five criminal constitutional law cases in 1997, three in 1998, seven in 1999, nine in 2000 and six in 2001.  The Court decided ten criminal constitutional law cases in 2002, but only five in 2003.

The Court decided six criminal constitutional law cases in 2004, seven in 2005 and 2007, nine in 2006 and eight in 2008.  The Court decided three criminal constitutional law cases in 2009, but seven in 2010.

The Court’s constitutional law docket has decreased in recent years on the criminal side, just as it has on the civil side.  The Court decided five criminal constitutional law cases in 2011 and ten in 2012, but only two in 2013, two in 2014, three in 2015, four in 2016 and five cases in 2017.

Join us back here next Thursday as we continue our analysis of the Court’s experience with constitutional law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Tri Nguyen (no changes).

Constitutional Law at the Court, Part 1 – How Many Civil Con Law Cases Does the Court Decide a Year?

Earlier this week at the Illinois Supreme Court Review, we began an intensive review of the Court’s caseload, one area of law at a time.  We began with the area of law most closely identified with courts of last resort – constitutional law.  Let’s start our review of the Court’s decisions with the civil constitutional law cases between 1992 and 2017.

For most of the period, the Court’s caseload of civil constitutional law cases has stayed fairly steady.  In 1992, the Court decided eight civil constitutional law cases.  The Court decided six cases in 1993 and 1994, eight in 1995 and three cases in 1996.

The Court decided five civil constitutional law cases in 1997, two in 1998, nine in 1999 and six in 2000.  The Court decided eight constitutional law cases in 2001, ten in 2002 and five in 2003.

The Court decided five civil constitutional law cases in 2004, eight in 2005, five in 2006 and nine in 2007.  The Court decided only two civil constitutional law cases per year in 2008 and 2009, but decided four cases in 2010.

The Court’s civil constitutional law caseload has edged downward in recent years.  In 2011, the Court decided five civil constitutional law cases.  The Court decided one case in 2012, two in 2013, one in 2014, two each in 2015 and 2016, and five cases in 2017.

Join us back here tomorrow as we turn our attention to the data for the Court’s criminal docket.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Brian Solis (no changes).

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