Yesterday, we addressed the areas of law comprising the California Supreme Court’s criminal docket between 2000 and 2002. Today, we turn to the final two years of this initial five-year period – 2003 and 2004.
Death penalty decisions were up sharply in 2003. The Court decided 19 death penalty appeals in 2003, accounting for 30.65% of the docket. Criminal procedure, the leading subjects in 2001 and 2002, was another 20.97% of the docket. The Court decided eight sentencing law cases, another 12.9% of the docket. Constitutional law was the only other area of law accounting for more than 10% of the docket at 11.29%. Juvenile issues and habeas corpus each accounted for another 8.06%. Violent crimes were 4.84% of the docket. Finally, the Court decided one case each involving property law and sexual offenses – 1.61% each.
We report the data for 2004 in Table 57 below. Death penalty appeals continued to dominate the criminal side of the docket, with 21 cases, or 29.17%. Criminal procedure accounted for 18.06% of the docket. Sentencing law was the only other area accounting for more than 10% of the caseload, with 15.28%. Constitutional law and habeas corpus cases were next, contributing 9.72% apiece. Sexual offenses were 6.94% of the docket, and violent crimes and juvenile issues accounted for 4.17% apiece. Attorney admission and discipline and property law cases contributed the final 1.39% apiece of the criminal docket in 2004.
Join us back here next Thursday as we turn to the civil docket between 2005 and 2009.