How Many Habeas Corpus Cases Has the Court Decided a Year?

Yesterday, we reviewed the Court’s insurance law cases.  Today, we’re looking at the Court’s habeas corpus cases.  From 1991 to 2017, the Court decided eighty-nine habeas corpus cases.

The Court decided one habeas case in 1991, six in 1992, five in 1993, one in 1994, five in 1995, four in 1996 and zero in 1997.

The Court decided six habeas cases in 1998, three in 1999, none in 2000, one in 2001, two in 2002 and seven in 2003 and 2004.

The Court decided seven habeas cases in 2005, three in 2006, two in 2007, six in 2008, two in 2009, seven in 2010, two in 2011 and five cases in 2012.

The Court decided one habeas case in 2013, two in 2014, one in 2015, two in 2016 and one case in 2017.

Join us back here next Thursday as we continue our study of the Court’s insurance and habeas cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Nick Amoscato (no changes).

 

 

How Many Insurance Law Cases Has the Court Decided a Year?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been reviewing the Court’s government and administrative law cases on the civil side and sentencing law cases on the criminal docket.  This week and next, we’re looking at the Court’s insurance law and habeas corpus cases.

Between 1991 and 2017, the Court decided seventy-three insurance law cases.  In 1991, the Court decided three insurance law cases.  The Court decided six cases in 1992, three in 1993, two in 1994, four in 1995, none in 1996 and six cases in 1996.

The Court decided two insurance law cases per year in 1998, 1999 and 2000, six cases in 2001, three in 2002 and four in 2003 and 2004.

The Court decided six insurance law cases in 2005, three in 2006, one in 2007, two in 2008, five in 2009, three in 2010 and one in 2011 and 2012.

The Court decided no insurance law cases in 2013.  It decided one case in 2014, two in 2015, zero in 2016 and one in 2017.

Join us back here tomorrow as we turn our attention to the Court’s habeas corpus cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Sharon Mollerus (no changes).

What Kind of Criminal Sentencing Law Case is the Court Most Likely to Hear?

Yesterday, we reviewed the Court’s record with civil cases involving governmental parties and administrative law.  Today, we’re on the criminal law side of the docket, reviewing the Court’s experience with cases involving criminal sentencing.

Not surprisingly (given the percentage of criminal law appellate decisions won by the government), the Court has heard more prosecution wins from the Court of Appeal than defendants’ wins: 61.71% of the Court’s criminal sentencing cases were won by the prosecution below.  Only 39.84% of the prosecution wins were reversed, while 77.61% of the defendants’ wins were.

The Court affirmed two prosecution wins in 1993, one in 1994, three in 1995, two in 1996, three in 1997 and 1998, one in 1999, three in 2001, six in 2002, two in 2003, five in 2004, three in 2005, one in 2006, four in 2007 and 2008, two in 2009, eight in 2010, five in 2012, two in 2015 and 2016, and three in 2017.

The Court reversed one prosecution win in 1992, three in 1993, two in 1996, 1997 and 1998, five in 1999, two in 2001, one in 2002 and 2003, one in 2006, three in 2009, one in 2010, three in 2012, four in 2013, three in 2014, six in 2015 and three in 2017.

The Court affirmed one defendant’s win per year in 1993, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.  The Court reversed twice in 2014, three times in 2015 and once per year in 2016 and 2017.

The Court reversed four defendants’ wins in 1993, one in 1994, five in 1995, two in 1996, three in 1997, two in 2999, three in 2000, two in 2001, three in 2002 and 2003, five in 2004, one in 2005 and 2006, three in 2007, one in 2008 and 2009, four in 2010, two in 2011, three in 2012, one in 2014 and two in 2016.

Overall, the Court has reversed entirely 81 times, and in part an additional 27 times, in its 175 criminal sentencing cases since 1992 – a 61.71% reversal rate.  Between 1990 and 1995, it reversed in 71.43% of its sentencing law cases.  Between 1996 and 2000, it reversed 71.88% of the time.  From 2001 to 2005, the reversal rate fell to “only” 60.53%.  Between 2006 and 2010, the reversal rate fell much further, to 44.74%.  From 2011 to last year, the reversal rate was back up, as the Court reversed in whole or in part in 65.22% of its sentencing cases.

Join us back here next Thursday as we turn our attention to two new areas of the Court’s docket.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Pedro Szekely (no changes).

What Kind of Government and Administrative Law Case Is the Court Most Likely to Hear?

Last week, we reviewed the Court’s history since 1992 with government and administrative law cases on the civil side, and sentencing law cases on the criminal docket.  This week, we’re looking at three questions: (1) does the Court tend to take more cases in each area won by one side or the other below; (2) how does the Court’s reversal rate vary, based upon which side won below; and (3) overall, how often has the Court reversed decisions in each area of law, either in whole or in part?  We begin with government and administrative law cases (note that we’re defining “governmental parties” broadly here – where a private public-interest group sued another private entity in order to vindicate the government’s administrative regulations, we count that as a “government entity” case.  We’ll carve out litigation by public interest groups in a future post.)

Since 1992, the Court has been slightly more likely to take cases won below by a government entity or party seeking to vindicate administrative regulations – 52.05% of the Court’s government/administrative law cases were won by the government below.  Surprisingly, the reversal rate on cases lost by the government was a bit lower than the overall rate – 52.44% – while the reversal rate of government wins was substantially higher – 67.42%.

In Table 506, we review affirmances of wins by those challenging government interests.  The Court affirmed once in 1992, three times in 1994, twice in 1995, once in 1996, twice in 1997 and 1998, once in 1999 and 2000, once in 2003, three times in 2004, four times in 2007, once in 2008 and 2009, three times in 2010, once in 2012, twice in 2013, three times in 2015 and 2016, and four times in 2017.

On the other hand, the Court reversed challengers’ wins twice in 1992, once in 1993, twice in 1994, once in 1995, four times in 1996, twice in 1997, once in 1998 and 1999, twice in 2000 and 2002, three times in 2003, twice in 2004, three times in 2005, twice in 2007, once in 2009, once in 2012, twice in 2013, once in 20114, three times in 2015, four times in 2016 and three times in 2017.

Government wins were affirmed five times in 1992, once in 1993, three times in 1995, once in 1997, once in 2000, twice in 2001, once in 2004, four times in 2006, twice in 2007 and 2008, once in 2013, twice in 2014 and 2015, and once in 2016 and 2017.

As Table 509 shows, government wins were frequently reversed between 1992 and 1997: three times in 1992, four in 1993, three in 1994 and 1995, four in 1996 and 1997, once in 1998, three times in 1999, 2000 and 2001, once in 2002 and 2003, three times in 2004, once in 2005, five times in 2006, twice in 2007, 2008 and 2009, once in 2010 and 2011, twice in 2012, once in 2013, three times in 2015 and 2016 and once in 2017.

Overall, of the Court’s 175 government and administrative law cases, the Court has reversed entirely in 92 and partially in another 20 cases – a reversal rate of 64%.  Between 1992 and 1995, the Court reversed 61.76% of the time.  Between 1996 and 2000, the Court reversed in 73.53% of its cases.  Between 2001 and 2005, the Court reversed 71.43% of the government and administrative law decisions it reviewed.  Between 2006 and 2010, the Court reversed in 53.13% of its cases.  Between 2011 and 2017, the Court reversed in 61.7% of its government and administrative law cases.

Join us back here as we review the Court’s decisions in criminal sentencing law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Harry Blum (no changes).

How Many Cases Has the Court Decided a Year Involving the Law of Criminal Sentencing?

Yesterday, we reviewed the Court’s record with civil cases involving governmental parties and administrative law.  Today, we’re looking at the Court’s decisions involving the law of criminal sentencing.

The Court decided one sentencing law case in 1992, ten in 1993, two in 1994, eight in 1995 and seven in 1996.

The Court decided nine cases in 1997, five cases in 1998, eight in 1999, three in 2000, seven in 2001, ten cases in 2002 and six in 2003.

The Court decided eleven cases involving criminal sentencing issues in 2004, four cases in 2005, three in 2006, seven in 2007, six in 2008, seven in 2009 and thirteen in 2010.

In 2011, the Court decided two cases involving criminal sentencing.  The Court decided eleven cases in 2012, four in 2013, six in 2014, eleven in 2015, five in 2016 and seven in 2017.

Join us back here next Thursday as we continue our study of the Court’s cases involving governmental parties, administrative law and sentencing law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ed Bierman (no changes).

How Many Government and Administrative Law Cases Has the Court Decided a Year?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been looking at the Court’s record with death penalty cases.  This week and next, we’re turning our attention to the court’s civil cases involving governmental parties and administrative law, and on the criminal side, sentencing law cases.  Let’s start with government/administrative law cases.

The Court decided eleven government cases in 1992, six in 1993, eight in 1994, nine per year in 1995 and 1996.

The Court decided nine government/administrative cases in 1997, four in 1998, five in 1999, seven in 2000, five in 2001, three in 2002 and six cases in 2003.

The Court decided ten government/administrative law cases in 2004, four in 2005, nine cases in 2006, ten in 2007, five cases in 2008 and four per year in 2009 and 2010.

The Court decided two government and administrative law cases in 2011, four in 2012, seven cases in 2013, three in 2014, eleven cases per year in 2015 and 2016, and nine cases in 2017.

Join us back here tomorrow as we review the Court’s sentencing law cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ron Kroetz (no changes).

Adjusted for Population, How Do the California and Illinois Supreme Courts Compare With Respect to Their Death Penalty Caseloads?

[The posts for yesterday and today are cross-posted, in slightly revised form, from the Illinois Supreme Court Review.]

Yesterday, we compared the California and Illinois Supreme Court’s death penalty case loads between 1992, the beginning of our California data, through 2010, when Illinois abolished the death penalty.  We found that in the years prior to Governor George Ryan’s 2010 moratorium on executions, Illinois both averaged more death penalty cases per year and was more likely to reverse death judgments in whole or in part.

But of course, there’s a bias in these numbers.  Depending on the time period you’re looking at, California is 2 ½ to three times the size of Illinois in population. All other things being equal, one might hypothesize that death penalty judgments are proportional to a state’s population.  So how do the numbers look if we scale the data for Illinois to put the two states on an equal plane?  To find out, we scaled Illinois’ population to account for the population difference, using 1990 census data for the years 1992-1995, 2000 census data for 1996-2005, and 2010 census data for the years 2006-2010.    For example, since California’s population was 2.6035 times what Illinois’ was in 1990, we multiply the Illinois real-world totals by that to arrive at a scaled number (explaining the “fractions of a case” numbers below).

We report the data for total death penalty appeals in Table 494 below.  We see that Illinois’ lead on California has increased substantially when we account for population.  In 1992, California handed down thirty-three decisions.  Adjusted for population, Illinois had 59.9.  In 1993, California issued fifteen decisions.  Illinois’ scaled total was 33.85.  In 1994, California handed down seven death penalty decisions, while Illinois had a scaled total of 44.26.  Illinois maintained its wide lead every year until 2002: 46.86 to 15 in 1995; 54.55 to 8 in 1996; 38.18 to 14 in 1997; 51.82 to 13 in 1998; 16.36 to 6 in 1999; 46.36 to 9 in 2000; and 19.09 to 11 in 2001.

Beginning in 2002, everything changed.  That year, Illinois’ scaled total was 13.64 death penalty appeals to 13 for California.  In 2003, California had 20 cases, while Illinois had only 8.18.  In 2004, California decided 21 death penalty appeals, while scaled for population, Illinois had 5.45.  In 2005, California decided 26 cases, while Illinois once again had only 5.45.  In 2006, California had nineteen death penalty decisions, while Illinois’ scaled total was 5.81.  In 2007, California decided twenty-three cases, while Illinois’ scaled total was once again 5.81.  In 2008, California had twenty-five death penalty cases, and Illinois’ scaled total was 2.9.  In 2009, California had 24 cases; Illinois’ scaled total was 8.71.  Finally, in 2010, California decided 24 cases, and Illinois’ scaled total was 11.61.

In Table 495, we report the data for reversals between California and Illinois’ scaled numbers.  Even the unscaled numbers show the Illinois Supreme Court being significantly more likely to reverse death judgments than the California Supreme Court was, and the margin increases when we adjust for population.  From 1992 to 1996, during which time California didn’t reverse outright in a single death penalty case, Illinois’ scaled numbers were 7.81, 2.6, 7.81, 10.41 and 8.18.  In 1997, California reversed one judgment, Illinois none.  In 1998, California again reversed one judgment, but Illinois’ scaled total was 8.18.  California reversed one judgment in 1998 and one in 2003 and 2008.  Illinois’ scaled totals ranged from a high of 8.18 reversals in 1998 and 2000 to a low zero in 2003 and 2006-2008.  California reversed two judgments in 2009, but Illinois’ scaled total was 2.9 reversals.

In Table 496, we compare the California Supreme Court’s partial reversals with the death penalty overturned to the Illinois Supreme Court’s scaled numbers.  From 1992 to 1994, California had zero “ARL” death penalty decisions.  Illinois’ scaled total was 10.41 in 1992, 5.21 in 1993 and 7.81 in 1994.  California had one partial reversal in 1995, 1997, 2001 and 2002.  The Illinois Supreme Court’s scaled totals were much higher: from a high of 16.36 in 1997 to a low of zero in 1999.  After the Illinois moratorium, the numbers flipped – California had three partial reversals with penalty overturned in 2003, two in 2004 and 2006 and one per year in 2007 and 2008.  Illinois’ scaled total was 2.9 in 2009 – the only year in which there were any such decisions.

The numbers are similar if we compare California’s total of partial reversals with death sentence affirmed to Illinois’ scaled totals.  Prior to the Illinois moratorium, California had nine in 1992, one in 1993 and 1995, two in 1996 and 1997, one in 1998 and 2000.  Illinois had none in 1995, 1997 and 2000, but in every other year, its scaled totals were much higher – 7.81 in 1992, 2.6 in 1993 and 1994, 10.91 in 1996, 8.18 in 1999 and 2.73 in 2000.

Join us back here next week as we turn our attention to new issues.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Marco Cortese (no changes).

How Do the California and Illinois Supreme Courts Compare With Respect to Death Penalty Judgments?

[The posts for today and tomorrow are cross-posted, in slightly revised form, from the Illinois Supreme Court Review.]

For the past two weeks, we’ve been taking a detailed look at the death penalty jurisprudence of the California Supreme Court and, at our sister blog the Illinois Supreme Court Review, the Illinois Supreme Court.  This week, we’re comparing the two state supreme courts’ records in this area of law.  We begin in 1992, where our California Supreme Court database begins, and end in 2010, just before Illinois abolished the death penalty.

In Table 490, we review the total number of death penalty appeals in each Court.  From 1992 to 2000, there were often more death penalty appeals in Illinois than in California.  In 1992 and 1993, California led: 33 to 23 in 1992 and 15 to 13 in 1993.  But in 1994, Illinois had seventeen cases to only seven in California.  In 1996, Illinois handed down twenty death penalty decisions to only eight in California.  In 1997, the two states were tied – fourteen decisions apiece.  In 1998, Illinois had nineteen cases, California only thirteen.  In 1999, both states had six cases.  In 2000, Illinois had seventeen cases to only nine in California.

In May 2000, then-Governor George Ryan announced a moratorium on executions in Illinois, and death penalty appeals declined sharply. In 2000, Illinois decided seventeen cases to nine in California.  The next year, with the Illinois moratorium in place, Illinois’ death penalty appeals dropped to only seven, while California decided eleven cases.  From there, Illinois’ death penalty caseload dropped to almost nothing: five cases in 2002, three in 2003, two each year from 2004 to 2007, one in 2008, three in 2009 and four in 2010.  Meanwhile, California’s caseload remained relatively flat: 13 cases in 2002, 20 in 2003, 21 in 2004, 26 in 2005, 19 in 2006, 23 in 2007, 25 in 2008 and 24 per year in 2009 and 2010.

We’ve seen that in the years before the moratorium and eventual abolition of the death penalty, Illinois generally had even more death penalty cases than California did.  We showed last time that outright reversals of death judgments were quite rare in California – was Illinois any different?

As can be seen in Table 491, the answer is clear: the Illinois Supreme Court reversed death judgments significantly more often than the California Supreme Court did.  Prior to abolition in Illinois, California reversed one death penalty judgment per year in 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2008, and two judgments in 2009.  In contrast, Illinois reversed twice in 1992, once in 1993, three times in 1994, four in 1995, three in 1996 and 1998, two in 1999, three times in 2000, once in 2001, twice in 2002 and one time per year in 2004, 2005 and 2009.

Illinois was more likely to partially reverse death penalty judgments while overturning the penalty in the years leading up to the moratorium too.  California entered one such partial reversal in 1995, 1997, 2001 and 2002, three in 2003, twice in 2004 and 2006 and once in 2007 and 2008.  Illinois partially reversed overturning the death penalty four times in 1992, twice in 1993, three times in 1994, once in 1995, twice in 1996, six times in 1997, twice in 1998, three times in 2000, three times in 2001 and once in 2002 and 2009.

Partial reversals affirming the death penalty were slightly more common in California than Illinois, even in the years before the moratorium.  There were nine such decisions in California in 1992 to three in 1992, one each in California and Illinois in 1993, none in California and one in Illinois in 1994, one in California to none in Illinois in 1995, two in California and four in Illinois in 1996, two in California and none in Illinois in 1997, one in California and three in Illinois in 1998, none in California and one in Illinois in 1999, and one in California and none in Illinois in 2000.

Since the moratorium, partial reversals affirming the judgment have been almost entirely exclusive to California: two in 2002, one in 2003, three in 2005, 2006 and 2007, four in 2008, three in 2009 and one in 2010, as compared to only one in Illinois in 2010.

Join us back here tomorrow as we continue our comparison between the death penalty caseloads in California and Illinois.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Reverie_Rambler (no changes).

How Often Has the Court Reversed Death Penalty Judgments Since 1992?

Last time, we took a deeper look at the Court’s experience since 1992 with tort law cases on the civil side.  Today (and next week), we’ll be taking a further look at the death penalty decisions, tracking four variables: (1) total decisions; (2) complete reversals; (3) partial reversals overturning the death penalty (ARL in the tables below); and (4) partial reversals affirming the penalty (ARC).

In Table 486, we chart the data for the years 1992-1998.  The total number of death penalty decisions was highest in 1992, when the Court handed down thirty-three opinions.  There were fifteen decisions in 1993, seven in 1994, fifteen in 1995, eight in 1996, fourteen in 1997 and thirteen in 1998.  Outright reversals were very rare – one each in 1997 and 1998, and that’s it.  Partial reversals reversing the penalty were rare too – one each in 1995 and 1997.  Partial reversals affirming the penalty were a bit more prevalent – nine in 1992, one each in 1993 and 1995, two in 1996 and 1997 and one in 1998.

In Table 487, we chart the data for the years 1999 through 2006.  Total death penalty cases drifted up a bit in these years – six in 1999, nine in 2000, eleven in 2001, thirteen in 2002, twenty in 2003, twenty-one in 2004, twenty-six in 2005 and nineteen in 2006.  The Court reversed outright only once, in 2003.  Partial reversals overturning the penalty were slightly more common – one each in 2001 and 2002, three in 2003 and two in 2004 and 2006.  As for partial reversals affirming the penalty, there was one in 2000, two in 2002, one in 2003 and three per year in 2005 and 2006.

As shown in Table 488, death penalty decisions were almost perfectly flat between 2007 and 2012 – 23 in 2007, 25 in 2008, 24 in 2009 and 2010, 26 in 2011 and 25 in 2012.  Outright reversals picked up slightly, with one per year in 2008, 2011 and 2012, and two in 2009.  There was one partial reversal overturning the penalty in 2007 and 2008 and two in 2012.  Partial reversals affirming the penalty were up – three in 2007, four in 2008, three in 2009, one in 2010, two in 2011 and three in 2012.

Interestingly, the Court’s output of death penalty decisions has drifted downwards over the past five years, with eighteen decisions in 2013, twenty-three in 2014, seventeen in 2015, twenty-four in 2016 and only eleven last year.  Outright reversals aren’t much more common than they were earlier, with the only examples in these years in 2014 (one) and 2016 (two).  Partial reversals overturning the penalty are more frequent though; the Court handed down one in 2014, three in 2015, four in 2016 and one in 2017.  Partial reversals affirming the penalty are up too: one in 2013, seven in 2014, five in 2015, four in 2016 and one in 2017.

Join us back here next Thursday as we continue our analysis of the Court’s death penalty decisions.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Randy Robertson (no changes).

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

Last week, we reviewed the year-by-year numbers for the Court’s tort law caseload.  This week, we’re taking a closer look at the Court’s tort decisions to answer three questions: (1) did the Court hear more defendants’ wins or plaintiffs’ wins from the Court of Appeal on the tort caseload; (2) did the Court tend to reverse defendants’ or plaintiffs’ wins more often; and (3) notwithstanding the winner below, how often did the Court reverse in tort cases?

In fact, the Court’s tort law caseload was lopsidedly inclined towards plaintiffs’ wins below.  For the entire period, only 41.58% of the Court’s tort cases were won by the defendant below. Of the defendants’ wins, the Court reversed only 49.37% of the time – a bit below the overall reversal rate.  The Court affirmed defendants’ wins three times in 1992, twice in 1993, twice in 1995, once in 1997, five times in 1998, twice in 1999 and 2000, once in 2001, five times in 2002, twice in 2003 and 2004, once in 2005 and 2006, four times in 2007, once in 2008 and twice in 2009 and 2010.  The Court affirmed zero defendants’ wins in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, and one each in 2014 and 2017.

The Court reversed two defendants’ wins in tort cases in 1992, one in 1993, three in 1994 and 1995, zero in 1996, three in 1997, two in 1998, three in 1999 and one in 2000.  The Court reversed one defendant’s win in 2001, two in 2002, one in 2003, two in 2004 and 2005, zero in 2006, one per year in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.  The Court reversed two defendants’ wins in 2011, three in 2012, zero in 2013, 2015 and 2017, and two each in 2014 and 2016.

On the other hand, the Court reversed in 63.06% of the plaintiffs’ tort law wins it reviewed.  The Court affirmed one plaintiff’s win in 1992, two in 1994, one per year in 1995 and 1996, two in 1997 and four in 1998 and 1999.  The Court affirmed four times in 2001, three in 2002, once in 2003, twice in 2004, four times in 2005, three times in 2007 and twice in 2008.  The Court affirmed one plaintiff’s win in 2013, 2014 and 2015, three times in 2016 and once in 2017.

The Court reversed three plaintiffs’ wins in 1992, eight in 1993, seven in 1994, three in 1995, four in 1997, seven in 1998, four in 1999 and one in 2000.  The Court reversed three plaintiffs’ wins in 2001, four in 2002 and 2003, two in 2004, one in 2006, four in 2007, one in 2008, three in 2009 and one in 2010.  The Court reversed three plaintiffs’ wins in 2011, four in 2012 and one in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Finally, in Table 485, we show the data for partial and complete reversals, notwithstanding the winner below.  The Court reversed in 75.61% of its tort cases between 1992 and 1995.  The Court reversed in 60.87% of its tort cases between 1996 and 2000.  The Court reversed exactly half of the tort cases it decided from 2001 to 2005.  The Court reversed 51.72% of its tort cases from 2006 to 2010.  The Court reversed 65.52% of its tort cases from 2011 to 2017.

Join us back here tomorrow as we turn our attention to the Court’s death penalty cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Brian (no changes).

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