Last week, we showed that during the first five years of our study period, review of final decisions was not the dominant feature of the Illinois Supreme Court’s criminal docket (at least to the degree it dominated the civil docket). Yesterday, we discussed the data from the civil docket between 2005 and 2009. Now, we turn to the criminal docket for the same five years.
Although Rule 602 was far and away the most common basis for appellate jurisdiction, once again, it was less than half of the criminal docket in 2005 (25 of 58 cases). Habeas corpus (9 cases) and juvenile appeals (8 cases) were the second and third most common features on the docket at 15.25% and 13.56%, respectively. Rule 604 appeals (nearly all appeals by the State, and defense appeals following a guilty plea or certain adverse bail decisions) added another 11.86% of the docket, with the Court hearing 7 such cases.
In 2006, Rule 602 appeals increased substantially as a fraction of the criminal docket, to a level roughly equivalent to what final judgments are in civil cases. The data is reported below in Table 142. Rule 602 appeals were more than 62% of the docket that year – 32 cases in all. On the other hand, nearly everything else was down in 2006 as a fraction of the docket – Rule 603 (from 6.8 to 3.9%), 604 (11.9 to 7.8%), 651 (15.3 to 2%) and 660 (13.6 to 7.8%) appeals.
We report the data for 2007 in Table 143 below. Appeals from final judgments were down somewhat, as the Court heard 14 cases (50% of the docket). Habeas corpus appeals were up substantially in 2007, amounting to a quarter of the criminal docket (the year before, Rule 651 appeals had been less than 2% of the docket). Appeals pursuant to Rule 603 and 604 were relatively steady at 3.6% and 10.7% of the criminal docket.
Rule 602 appeals drifted downwards slightly in 2008. Appeals under Rule 604 rose as a fraction of the Court’s civil docket from 10.7% (3 cases) to 15.7% (8 cases). After hearing no juvenile cases (Rule 660) in 2007, the Court decided seven in 2008 – 13.7% of the criminal docket. Habeas cases dropped by about a third as a fraction of the docket, from 25% to 17.6%.
The Court decided 29 cases in 2009 arising from final judgments, leading to an eight percent increase in the share of Rule 602 appeals. The Court decided four cases under Rule 603 – 7.7% of the criminal docket – where it had decided only one the year before. Rule 604 appeals remained steady as a fraction of the docket, while habeas and juvenile appeals were down somewhat.
Join us back here next Tuesday when we’ll take a look at the Court’s civil and criminal dockets between 2010 and 2015.