Last week, we showed that the most frequent area of criminal law for amicus briefs in California between 1990 and 1999 was criminal procedure (by a two-to-one margin). Following crim pro were constitutional law, sentencing law, juvenile issues and death penalty cases. So this week, we’re looking at the years 2000 through 2009.
Once again, criminal procedure led, with 33 cases drawing at least one extra brief. But after that, we had constitutional law and juvenile issues neck-and-neck – 24 cases for con law, 23 for juvenile. Fourteen sentencing law cases drew extra briefs and 11 habeas corpus cases did. After that were cases involving sexual offenses (4 cases), violent crimes and property crimes (3 cases each), attorney discipline and drug offenses (2 cases each and death penalty cases (only 1).
Criminal procedure led in total number of briefs too, accounting for 69. After that, only four more areas of law were in double figures: constitutional law (55 briefs), juvenile issues (44), habeas corpus (25 briefs) and sentencing law (17).
Of the principal areas drawing amicus briefs, criminal procedure, sentencing law and juvenile issues were lopsidedly offensive, supporting appellants. Criminal procedure saw 46 briefs for appellants to only 23 for respondents. Sentencing law produced 12 for appellants to 5 for respondents. Juvenile issues produced 27 briefs for appellants, 17 for respondents. No area of law produced a significant gap in favor of respondents’ briefs – every other area was relatively evenly balanced between briefs supporting appellants and briefs for respondents.
Join us back here next week as we review the data for the years 2010 through 2020.