How Many Habeas Corpus Cases Has the Court Decided a Year?

Last time, we looked at the Court’s insurance law caseload.  Today, we’re reviewing the Court’s habeas corpus decisions.

Between 1990 and 2017, the Court decided 224 habeas corpus cases.  The Court decided four habeas cases in 1990, eight in 1991, eleven in 1992, five in 1993, seven in 1994, seventeen in 1995 and nine in 1996.

 

The Court decided ten habeas cases in 1997, nine in 1998, eight in 1999, twenty-nine in 2000, thirteen in 2001, nineteen in 2002 and five cases in 2003.

The Court decided seven habeas cases in 2004, fifteen in 2005, one in 2006, eight in 2007, three in 2008 and 2009, eleven in 2010 and two cases in 2011.

The Court decided three habeas cases in 2012, five in 2013, four in 2014, two in 2015 and three in 2016 and 2017.

Join us next Tuesday as we continue our examination of the Court’s insurance and habeas cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Antony Caldaroni (no changes).

How Many Insurance Law Cases Has the Court Decided a Year?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been looking at the Court’s government/administrative law and criminal sentencing cases.  This week and next, we’re going to look at the Court’s insurance law cases on the civil side, and its habeas corpus cases on the criminal law side.

Between 1990 and 2017, the Court decided eighty-six insurance law cases.  The Court decided three cases in 1990, two in 1991, nine in 1992, four per year in 1993, 1994 and 1995 and one in 1996.

The Court decided seven insurance law cases in 1997, five in 1998, three in 1999 and 2000, four in 2001, two in 2002 and three in 2003.

The Court decided three insurance law cases in 2004, five in 2005, four in 2006, five in 2007, two in 2008 and 2009, four in 2010 and one in 2011.

The Court decided one insurance law case in 2012, three in 2013, none in 2014, two in 2015 and none in 2016 or 2017.

Join us next time as we turn our attention to the Court’s habeas corpus caseload.

Image courtesy of Flickr by David Wilson (no changes).

 

What Kind of Criminal Sentencing Law Case is the Court Most Likely to Hear?

Yesterday, we took a close look at the Court’s history with civil cases involving governmental parties and administrative law.  Today, we’re on the criminal law side of the docket, reviewing the Court’s experience with cases involving criminal sentencing.

Since 1990, the Court has taken a virtually equal number of sentencing cases won by each side – sixty-one prosecution wins at the Appellate Court, sixty-three defense wins.  Not surprisingly, that’s where the similarity ends.  The Court has reversed only 34.43% of the prosecution wins it’s reviewed in the criminal sentencing area – it’s reversed exactly two thirds of the defendants’ wins.

In Table 765, we report prosecution wins which were affirmed by the Supreme Court.  Although there were none in 1990 or 1991, there were seven in 1992, three in 1994, two in 1995, three in 1997, four in 1998, one in 1999 and 2000, two in 2001, one in 2002, 2003 and 2005, three in 2008, two in 2009 and 2010, five in 2011 and one per year in 2013 and 2015.

The Court reversed no prosecution wins involving sentencing law issues between 1990 and 1994.  The Court reversed twice in 1995, once per year in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001, twice in 2002 and 2004, four times in 2008, twice in 2011, once in 2012 and 2013 and twice in 2015.

The Court affirmed three defendants’ wins in sentencing cases in 1990.  It reversed once in 1993, 1995, 1996 and 1997, twice in 1998, once in 1999, three times in 2006, twice in 2008, four times in 2011 and twice in 2016.

The Court reversed defendants’ wins twice in 1990, once in 1991, four times in 1992, once in 1995, twice in 1996 and 1997, three times in 1998, once in 2000, twice in 2001, three times in 2002, four times in 2003, twice in 2004, once per year in 2006, 2007 and 2008, three times in 2009, twice in 2010 and 2011, once in 2012, 2013 and 2015 and twice in 2016.

Overall, in 130 criminal sentencing cases, the Court has reversed completely forty-one times, and reversed in part 32 times – a 56.15% reversal rate, which is about average for the Court’s cases as a whole.  The Court reversed only 44.44% of the time between 1990 and 1995.  Between 1996 and 2000, the Court reversed in 57.69% of cases.  Between 2001 and 2005, the Court reversed 68.18% of the time.  Between 2006 and 2010, the Court reversed 58.33% of its criminal sentencing cases.  Since 2011, the Court has reversed in 54.84% of its sentencing cases.

Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to a new area of inquiry.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ron Frazier (no changes).

What Kind of Government and Administrative Law Case Is the Court Most Likely to Hear?

Last week, we reviewed the Court’s history since 1990 with civil cases involving governmental parties and administrative law, and criminal cases involving the law of sentencing.  This week, we’re digging deeper, looking at three questions: (1) does the Court tend to take more cases in each area won by one side or the other below; (2) how does the Court’s reversal rate vary, based upon which side won below; and (3) overall, how often has the Court reversed decisions in each area of law, either in whole or in part?  We begin with cases involving government and administrative law (note that we’re defining “governmental parties” broadly here – where a private public-interest group sued another private entity in order to vindicate the government’s administrative regulations, we count that as a “government entity” case.  We’ll carve out litigation by public interest groups in a future post.)

Since 1990, the Court has taken significantly more cases won by governmental parties below than government losses – 56.25% of its 176 government and administrative law cases were won by the governmental party below.  However, the reversal rate is almost identical – 56.58% of governmental party losses have been reversed, and 54.55% of governmental party wins have been overturned.

First, we review the year by year total where wins by the parties challenging government or administrative regulations were affirmed.  The Court had two in 1990, two in 1992, one in 1994, 3 in 1999, one in 2000, three in 2002, one in 2004, three in 2005, one in 2007, one in 2009, three in 2011, one in 2013, one in 2014, three per year in 2015 and 2016, and four in 2017.

As for cases won by the challenger below but reversed by the Supreme Court: the Court had three in 1990, five in 1992, four in 1994, one in 1996, two per year in 1998, 1999 and 200, three in 2001, two in 2002, four in 2003, one a year in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012, five in 2014, one in 2015 and two in 2016.

In Table 762, we report the numbers for cases where governmental parties and administrative regulations’ wins below were affirmed.  The Court had one case in 1992, one in 1993, four in 1994, three in 1997, one per year in 2000 and 2001, two in 2002, five in 2003, four in 2004, one in 2005, three in 2006, two in 2007, one in 2009, two in 2011, two in 2013 and four per year in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

As for governmental party wins below which were reversed by the Court: four in 1990, two in 1991, two in 1992, three in 1993, one in 1994, three in 1995, three in 1996, two in 1997, three in 1998, two each year from 2001 through 2005, five in 2006, two in 2009, one in 2010, two in 2011, four in 2012, three in 2013, one in 2014, two in 2016 and one in 2017.

Overall, the Court has reversed in whole or in part in 56.25% of its government and administrative law cases since 1990.  Between 1990 and 1995, the Court reversed in 69.23% of these cases.  From 1996 to 2000, the Court reversed two-thirds of the time.  Between 2001 and 2005, the Court reversed only 47.5% of its government and administrative law cases.  Between 2006 and 2010, despite the change in the Court’s membership, the reversal rate was back up – to 65%.  Since 2011, the Court has shifted again, reversing in only 45.28% of its fifty-three cases.

Join us back here tomorrow for a close look at the Court’s history with criminal sentencing cases.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Kevin Dooley (no changes).

How Many Cases Has the Court Decided a Year Involving the Law of Criminal Sentencing?

Yesterday, we reviewed the Court’s record with civil cases involving government entities and administrative law.  Today, we’re looking at the criminal side of the docket – specifically, cases involving sentencing law.

The Court decided five sentencing law cases in 1990, one in 1991, eleven in 1992, one in 1993, three in 1994, six in 1995 and three in 1996.

The Court decided seven cases involving sentencing law in 1997, ten in 1998, three per year in 1999 and 2000, five in 2001, seven in 2002 and five in 2003.

The Court decided four sentencing cases in 2004, one in 2005, four in 2006, one in 2007, ten in 2008 and four per year in 2009 and 2010.

Finally, the Court decided thirteen sentencing law cases in 2011, four in 2012, three in 2013, one in 2014, four in 2015, six in 2016 and zero cases in 2017.

Join us back here next Tuesday as we continue our analysis of the Court’s decisions in government and administrative law and sentencing law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Paul Sableman  (no changes).

How Many Government and Administrative Law Cases Has the Court Decided a Year?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been studying the Court’s death penalty cases.  This week, we’re turning our attention to a new topic – (1) government and administrative law; and (2) sentencing law in the criminal docket.  First up is civil cases involving government parties and administrative law issues.  Since 1990, the Supreme Court has decided 176 cases involving government and administrative law.

The Court decided nine government cases in 1990, but only two in 1991.  The Court decided eleven cases in 1992, four in 1993, ten in 1994, three in 1995 and four in 1996.

The Court decided five civil cases involving government and administrative law per year in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.  The Court decided six cases in 2001, eight in 2002 and eleven in 2003.

The Court decided eight cases involving government and administrative law in 2004, seven in 2005, eight in 2006, four in 2007, one in 2008, five in 2009 and two cases in 2010.

The Court decided seven government and administrative law cases in 2011, five in 2012, six in 2013, seven in 2014, eight in 2015, eleven in 2016 and nine in 2017.

Join us back here tomorrow as we address the Court’s criminal cases involving the law of sentencing.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Matt Turner (no changes).

Adjusted for Population, How Do the Illinois and California Supreme Courts Compare With Respect to Their Death Penalty Caseloads?

Yesterday, we compared the Illinois and California Supreme Court’s death penalty caseloads between 1992, the beginning of our California data, through 2010, when Illinois abolished the death penalty.  We found that in the years prior to Governor George Ryan’s 2010 moratorium on executions, Illinois both averaged more death penalty cases per year and was more likely to reverse death judgments in whole or in part.

But of course, there’s a bias in these numbers.  Depending on the time period you’re looking at, California is 2 ½ to three times the size of Illinois in population. All other things being equal, one might hypothesize that death penalty judgments are proportional to a state’s population.  So how do the numbers look if we scale the data for Illinois to put the two states on an equal plane?  To find out, we scaled the Illinois Supreme Court data to account for the population difference, using 1990 census data for the years 1992-1995, 2000 census data for 1996-2005, and 2010 census data for the years 2006-2010.  For example, since California’s population was 2.6035 times what Illinois’ was in 1990, we multiply the Illinois real-world totals by that to arrive at a scaled number (explaining the “fractions of a case” numbers below).

We report the data for total death penalty appeals in Table 748 below.  We see that Illinois’ lead on California increases substantially when we account for the population difference.  In 1992, California handed down thirty-three decisions.  Adjusted for population, Illinois had 59.9.  In 1993, California issued fifteen decisions.  Illinois’ scaled total was 33.85.  In 1994, California handed down seven death penalty decisions, while Illinois had a scaled total of 44.26.  Illinois maintained its wide lead every year until 2002: 46.86 to 15 in 1995; 54.55 to 8 in 1996; 38.18 to 14 in 1997; 51.82 to 13 in 1998; 16.36 to 6 in 1999; 46.36 to 9 in 2000; and 19.09 to 11 in 2001.

Beginning in 2002, everything changed.  That year, Illinois’ scaled total was 13.64 death penalty appeals to 13 for California.  In 2003, California had 20 cases, while Illinois had only 8.18.  In 2004, California decided 21 death penalty appeals, while scaled for population, Illinois had 5.45.  In 2005, California decided 26 cases, while Illinois once again had only 5.45.  In 2006, California had nineteen death penalty decisions, while Illinois’ scaled total was 5.81.  In 2007, California decided twenty-three cases, while Illinois’ scaled total was once again 5.81.  In 2008, California had twenty-five death penalty cases, and Illinois’ scaled total was 2.9.  In 2009, California had 24 cases; Illinois’ scaled total was 8.71.  Finally, in 2010, California decided 24 cases, and Illinois’ scaled total was 11.61.

In Table 749, we report the data for reversals.  Even the unscaled numbers show the Illinois Supreme Court was significantly more likely to reverse death judgments than the California Supreme Court was, and the margin increases when we adjust for population.  From 1992 to 1996, during which time California didn’t reverse outright in a single death penalty case, Illinois’ scaled numbers were 7.81, 2.6, 7.81, 10.41 and 8.18.  In 1997, California reversed one judgment, Illinois none.  In 1998, California again reversed one judgment, but Illinois’ scaled total was 8.18.  California reversed one judgment in 1998 and one in 2003 and 2008.  Illinois’ scaled totals ranged from a high of 8.18 reversals in 1998 and 2000 to a low zero in 2003 and 2006-2008.  California reversed two judgments in 2009, but Illinois’ scaled total was 2.9.

In Table 750, we compare the California Supreme Court’s partial reversals with the death penalty overturned to the Illinois Supreme Court’s scaled numbers.  From 1992 to 1994, California had zero “ARL” death penalty decisions.  Illinois’ scaled total was 10.41 in 1992, 5.21 in 1993 and 7.81 in 1994.  California had one partial reversal in 1995, 1997, 2001 and 2002.  The Illinois Supreme Court’s scaled totals were much higher: from a high of 16.36 in 1997 to a low of zero in 1999.  After the Illinois moratorium, the numbers flipped – California had three partial reversals with penalty overturned in 2003, two in 2004 and 2006 and one per year in 2007 and 2008.  Illinois’ scaled total was 2.9 in 2009 – the only year in which there were any such decisions.

The numbers are similar if we compare California’s total of partial reversals with death sentence affirmed to Illinois’ scaled totals.  Prior to the Illinois moratorium, California had nine in 1992, one in 1993 and 1995, two in 1996 and 1997, one in 1998 and 2000.  Illinois had none in 1995, 1997 and 2000, but in every other year, its scaled totals were much higher – 7.81 in 1992, 2.6 in 1993 and 1994, 10.91 in 1996, 8.18 in 1999 and 2.73 in 2000.

Join us back here next week as we turn our attention to new issues.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Thomas & Dianne Jones (no changes).

How Do the Illinois and California Supreme Courts Compare With Respect to Death Penalty Judgments?

[The posts for today and tomorrow will be cross-posted, in slightly revised form, in the California Supreme Court Review.]

For the past two weeks, we’ve been taking a detailed look at the death penalty jurisprudence of the Illinois and California Supreme Courts here and at our sister blog the California Supreme Court Review.  This week, we’re comparing the two state supreme courts’ records in this area of law.  We begin in 1992, where our California Supreme Court database begins, and end in 2010, when Illinois abolished the death penalty.

In Table 744, we compare the yearly data for the total number of death penalty appeals in each Court.  As we see here, from 1992 to 2000, there were often more death penalty appeals in Illinois than in California.  In 1992 and 1993, California led: 33 to 23 in 1992 and 15 to 13 in 1993.  In 1994, Illinois had seventeen cases to only seven in California.  In 1996, Illinois handed down twenty death penalty decisions to only eight in California.  In 1997, the two states were tied – fourteen decisions apiece.  In 1998, Illinois had nineteen cases, California only thirteen.  In 1999, both states had six cases.  In 2000, Illinois had seventeen cases to only nine in California.

In May 2000, then-Governor George Ryan announced a moratorium on executions in Illinois, and death penalty appeals declined sharply. In 2000, Illinois decided seventeen cases to nine in California.  The next year, with the Illinois moratorium in place, Illinois’ death penalty appeals dropped to only seven, while California decided eleven cases.  From there, Illinois’ death penalty caseload dropped to almost nothing: five cases in 2002, three in 2003, two each year from 2004 to 2007, one in 2008, three in 2009 and four in 2010.  Meanwhile, California’s caseload remained relatively flat: 13 cases in 2002, 20 in 2003, 21 in 2004, 26 in 2005, 19 in 2006, 23 in 2007, 25 in 2008 and 24 per year in 2009 and 2010.  In 2010, the death penalty was abolished in Illinois.

So death penalty cases were more common in Illinois than California, notwithstanding the difference in population, prior to the Ryan moratorium.  But was Illinois more likely to reverse death judgments than California was?

As can be seen in Table 745, the answer is clear: the Illinois Supreme Court reversed death judgments significantly more often than the California Supreme Court did.  Prior to abolition in Illinois, California reversed one death penalty judgment per year in 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2008, and two judgments in 2009.  In contrast, Illinois reversed twice in 1992, once in 1993, three times in 1994, four in 1995, three in 1996 and 1998, two in 1999, three times in 2000, once in 2001, twice in 2002 and one time per year in 2004, 2005 and 2009.

Illinois was more likely to partially reverse death penalty judgments while overturning the penalty in the years leading up to the moratorium too.  California entered one such partial reversal in 1995, 1997, 2001 and 2002, three times in 2003, twice in 2004 and 2006 and once in 2007 and 2008.  Illinois partially reversed overturning the death penalty four times in 1992, twice in 1993, three times in 1994, once in 1995, twice in 1996, six times in 1997, twice in 1998, three times in 2000, three times in 2001 and once in 2002 and 2009.

Partial reversals affirming the death penalty were slightly more common in California than Illinois, even in the years before the moratorium.  There were nine such decisions in California in 1992 to three in 1992, one each in California and Illinois in 1993, none in California and one in Illinois in 1994, one in California to none in Illinois in 1995, two in California and four in Illinois in 1996, two in California and none in Illinois in 1997, one in California and three in Illinois in 1998, none in California and one in Illinois in 1999, and one in California and none in Illinois in 2000.

From the moratorium to Illinois abolition, partial reversals affirming the judgment were almost entirely exclusive to California: two in 2002, one in 2003, three in 2005, 2006 and 2007, four in 2008, three in 2009 and one in 2010, as compared to only one in Illinois in 2010.

Join us back here tomorrow as we continue our comparison between the death penalty caseloads in Illinois and California.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Juli Bee (no changes).

How Often Did the Court Reverse, in Whole or in Part, Death Penalty Judgments?

Yesterday, we took an in-depth look at the Court’s tort law caseload.  We showed that the Court has both accepted for review a larger share of plaintiffs’ wins from the Appellate Court than defense wins, and has reversed those plaintiffs’ wins more often.  Today, we’re taking another look at the Court’s death penalty cases.

Overall, the Court decided 206 death penalty cases.  It reversed completely in 34 cases; reversed in part, including the death penalty in another 32, reversed in part but affirmed the penalty in 15, and affirmed entirely in 125 cases.  This translates to an outright reversal rate of 16.5%; a penalty reversal rate (Rev + ARL in the table) of 32.03%, and an overall reversal rate (Rev + ARL + ARC) of 39.32%.

We report the data for the years 1990-1996 in Table 741 below.  In 1990, the Court reversed in whole or in part in 9 of 15 death penalty cases.  Between 1991 and 1996, the reversal rate fell to very close to the rate for the entire period – the Court reversed in whole or in part in 35.58% of its death penalty cases.

We report the yearly data for 1997-2003 in Table 742 below.  For the period, the outright reversal rate was 15.49% – slightly below the rate for the entire period.  The Court reversed the death penalty in 36.62% of cases.  The Court’s overall reversal rate for this period was 42.23%.

The Court’s death penalty caseload slowed significantly in the years leading up to abolition.  Between 2004 and 2010, the Court reversed outright in 18.75% of cases.  It reversed the penalty in 25% of cases.  The overall reversal rate for the last seven years before abolition was 31.25%.

Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to two new areas of law on the Court’s civil and criminal dockets.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Nick Fewings (no changes).

What Kind of Tort Law Case is the Court Most Likely to Hear?

Last week, we reviewed the year-by-year data for the Court’s tort law caseload.  This week, we’re answering our usual second week questions: (1) did the Court decide more defense or plaintiffs’ wins; (2) did the Court reverse either side’s wins at a higher rate; and (3) how often did the Court reverse tort decisions, either in whole or in part?

The data shows that between 1990 and 2017, the Supreme Court was far more likely to review plaintiff’s wins in tort law cases than defense wins – 66.86% of the cases the Court decided were won by the plaintiffs below.  And not surprisingly, it was far more likely to reverse plaintiff’s wins – it reversed 63.72% of the plaintiff’s wins it heard, but only 47.32% of the defense wins.

In Table 736, we review the yearly totals of defense wins which were affirmed.  The Court affirmed four defense wins in 1990, two per year in 1991 and 1992, three per year in 1993 and 1994, one in 1995, two in 1996, six in 1997 and three per year in 1998, 199, 2000 and 2001.

The Court affirmed two defense wins in 2002, one in 2003, three in 2004, none in 2005, four in 2006, two in 2007, four in 2008, none in 2009 and two in 2010.  The Court affirmed three defense wins in tort cases in 2011, none between 2012 and 2015, two in 2016 and one in 2017.

In Table 737, we review the yearly data for defendants’ wins which were reversed in tort cases.  The Court reversed six decisions in 1990, two in 1991, seven in 1992, three in 1993, two in 1994, five in 1995, one in 1996, three in 1997, one in 1998, zero in 1999 and two in 2000.

The Court reversed in one case in 2001, two each in 2002 and 2003, one in 2004, zero in 2005, two per year in 2006 and 2007, four in 2008, one in 2009 and three cases in 2010.

The Court reversed defendants’ wins in zero cases in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 or 2017.  It reversed once in 2013 and twice in 2016.

In Table 738, we review the eighty-two cases in which the Court affirmed plaintiffs’ wins in tort cases.  The Court affirmed four times in 1990, six in 1991, twelve in 1992, five in 1993, four in 1994, three in 1995, one in 1996, four in 1997, three in 1998 and 1999, and twice in 2000.

The Court affirmed in zero cases in 2001, six in 2002, three in 2003, two per year in 2004 and 2005, three in 2006, two in 2007 and 2008, one in 2009 and two cases in 2010.

The Court affirmed in three cases per year in 2011 and 2012, zero in 2013, two in 2014, one each in 2015 and 2016 and two cases in 2017.

In Table 739, we review the 144 cases in which the Court reversed plaintiffs’ wins from the Appellate Court in tort cases.  The Court reversed in six cases per year in 1990 and 1991, seven in 1992, one in 1993, six in 1994, twelve in 1995, eleven in 1996, four in 1997, ten in 1998, seven in 1999 and five in 2000.

The Court reversed in four cases in 2001, six in 2002, three in 2003, six in 2004, four in 2005, three in 2006, one in 2007, four in 2008, six in 2009 and two cases in 2010.

Finally, the Court reversed in six cases in 2011, seven in 2012, three per year in 2013 and 2014, six in 2015, one in 2016 and four in 2017.

In Table 740, we review the overall data, regardless of the party prevailing below.  For the entire period, the Court reversed in whole or in part in 201 of 339 cases – 59.29%, somewhat above the reversal rate for other areas of law.  From 1990 to 1995, the Court reversed in whole or in part in 56.25% of its tort cases.  From 1996 to 2000, the reversal rate jumped to 65.28%.  Between 2001 and 2005, the reversal rate fell to 51.85%.  From 2006 to 2010, the reversal rate was up again, to 58%.  From 2011 to 2017, the reversal rate for tort cases has risen again, to 66.67%.

Join us back here tomorrow as we take a closer look at the Court’s death penalty decisions.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Yiannis Theologos Michellis (no changes).

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