For the past several weeks, we’ve been taking a close look at the originating jurisdictions for the California Supreme Court’s civil, criminal and death penalty dockets between 2000 and 2015. Today, we take the final step in that analysis, looking at the death penalty docket since 2010.
We’ve shown in previous posts that the death penalty docket tends to follow state population somewhat more than the civil docket does. This was true again in recent years, as Los Angeles accounted for 32.8% of the death penalty cases – ranging from a low of three in 2015 to a high of 11 cases in 2012. Riverside County was next, accounting for seventeen death penalty cases in six years – a high of five each in 2011 and 2014. Orange County, the third largest county in the state by population, was third in death penalty cases, producing twelve cases in all. San Diego (the second largest county in the state) was next with eight cases, and Alameda and San Bernardino counties produced seven each. Kern County, which had produced four death penalty cases between 2005 and 2009, accounted for five over the past six years, and Sacramento County accounted for four in all. Ventura, Contra Costa and Tulare County produced three death penalty cases. From there, the rest of the docket was scattered, with eleven different counties accounting for either two or one death penalty appeal.
Join us back here tomorrow as we conclude our analysis of originating jurisdictions.