For the past several weeks, we’ve been reviewing the areas of law from which the California Supreme Court has drawn its civil and criminal docket in the years since 2000. Today and tomorrow, we’ll address the criminal docket in the years 2010 through 2015.
In Table 74 below, we report the breakdown for the Supreme Court’s criminal docket in 2010. Automatic death penalty appeals dominated the docket, as they always do; 32.43% of the Court’s criminal, juvenile and disciplinary docket consisted of death penalty appeals. Sentencing cases accounted for 17.57% of the docket, and 16.22% were criminal procedure cases. Constitutional law and habeas corpus cases accounted for 9.46% apiece of the docket. Violent crimes, sex crimes and drug crimes accounted for 4.05% apiece. Five areas of law – juvenile law, attorney admission and discipline, property crimes, political crimes and conspiracy crimes – produced one case each, or 1.35% of the docket.
In 2011, automatic death penalty appeals were even more dominant, accounting for 45.61% of the docket. No other area of law produced as much as ten percent of the caseload. Four areas – criminal procedure, constitutional law, juvenile law and attorney admission and discipline – accounted for 8.77% of the docket each. Sentencing law, violent crimes, sex crimes and habeas corpus cases produced 3.51% of the docket apiece. Political crimes, fraud and financial crimes and drug crimes accounted for one case apiece – 1.75% of the caseload.
The data for 2012 is reported below in Table 76. Automatic death penalty appeals produced 30.49% of the docket. Sentencing and constitutional law produced less than half as many cases, each accounting for 13.41% of the docket. Criminal procedure produced 10.98% of the caseload. Four areas – violent crimes, juvenile issues, attorney admission and discipline and habeas corpus cases – produced 6.1% of the cases apiece. Sex crimes accounted for 3.66% of the cases, followed by property crimes at 2.44% and drug crimes at 1.22%.
Join us back here tomorrow as we wrap up our analysis with a look at the criminal docket between 2013 and 2015.