Archives: Death Penalty Decisions

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Reviewing the Justices’ Voting Records in Death Penalty Appeals, 1990-2010 (Part 2)

Yesterday, we reviewed the individual Justices’ voting records in death penalty cases for the years 1990 through 1999.  Today, we’re looking at the Justices’ voting records for the years 2000 through abolition in 2010. Partial reversals with the sentence affirmed were quite rare during the years 2000 through 2004.  Justice Miller led the Court, voting … Continue Reading

Reviewing the Justices’ Voting Records in Death Penalty Appeals, 1990-2010 (Part 1)

Last week, we discussed the data on how often the Justices of the Court voted with the majority in the Illinois Supreme Court’s death penalty cases between 1990 and 2010 (after which the death penalty was abolished). This week, we review the individual Justices’ votes. In Table 551, we report the fraction of each Justice’s … Continue Reading

Measuring Influence in Death Penalty Cases – Which Justices Were Most Often in the Majority (Part 2)?

Yesterday, we began our analysis of the individual Justices’ voting records in death penalty cases – specifically, how often each Justice voted with the majority.  Today, we’ll review the data for the years 2000 through 2010.  First, the years 2000 through 2004.  Justices McMorrow (34 cases), Rarick (4 cases) and Bilandic (17 cases) voted with … Continue Reading

Measuring Influence in Death Penalty Cases – Which Justices Were Most Often in the Majority?

For the past several weeks, we’ve been comparing the death penalty jurisprudence of the Illinois and California Supreme Courts.  Having reviewed the county-by-county reversal rates last week, this week we’re looking at the individual Justices.  We’ll review two  indices of the Justices’ views and influence on the Court: first, the percentage of cases where the … Continue Reading

Were Majority Opinions in Death Penalty Cases Longer or Shorter When the Court Reversed?

Yesterday, we began reviewing the data on majority opinions in death penalty cases from 1990 through the Court’s last death penalty appeal in 2010.  Today, we look at a related question: did the Court’s majority opinions tend to run longer when the Court was partially or fully reversing? Interestingly, across the entire twenty year period, … Continue Reading

Who Wrote the Court’s Majority Opinions in Death Penalty Cases?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been studying death penalty appeals, both here and on the California Supreme Court Review blog.  This week, we turn our attention to the authors of the Court’s majority opinions in death penalty cases. Once again, we divide the cases into four results: (1) affirmance; (2) partial reversal with sentence … Continue Reading

Where Did the Illinois Supreme Court’s Death Penalty Cases Arise?

Yesterday, we began reviewing the Court’s county by county distribution of death penalty appeals, beginning in 1994.  Today, we will begin by reviewing the data from 2004 through 2010. The Court decided only two death penalty appeals each year from 2004 through 2007.  In 2004, the Court decided one case in Cook and one case … Continue Reading

Where Did the Illinois Supreme Court’s Death Penalty Cases Arise?

This week, we continue our parallel look at automatic death penalty appeals here and over at our sister blog, the California Supreme Court Review.  Last week, we reviewed the Illinois Supreme Court’s year-by-year caseload from 1990 until the death penalty was abolished in this state.  This week, we’re going to take a look at where … Continue Reading

How Often Did the Illinois Supreme Court Reverse Death Penalty Judgments (Part 2)?

Yesterday, we began our comparative review of the Illinois and California Supreme Court’s experience with direct review of death penalty judgments.  Today, we reach the second half of our first analysis – how often did the Illinois Supreme Court reverse death judgments? In Table 529, we report the reversal rate, divided into three classes – … Continue Reading

How Often Did the Illinois Supreme Court Reverse Death Penalty Judgments (Part 1)?

This week, we begin a dual project on the Illinois Supreme Court Review and the California Supreme Court Review – comparing the two states’ experience with automatic appeals of death penalty verdicts. Illinois has had a tumultuous recent history with death penalty verdicts.  Governor George Ryan declared a moratorium on executions in 1999, citing concern … Continue Reading
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