Yesterday, we reviewed the rate at which the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the Districts and Divisions of the Appellate Court in civil cases between 2006 and 2010. Today, we turn to the criminal docket.
The Court’s overall reversal rate in criminal cases increased somewhat in our study period. Between 2000 and 2005, the reversal rate was nearly always between forty and fifty percent. For the most part in our second period, the reversal rate was ten points higher. In 2006, the Court reversed in 56% of all criminal cases. The following year, the reversal rate increased to 70.37%. In 2008 and 2009, the rate was between fifty and sixty percent – 52.94% in 2008 and 57.14% in 2009. The period ended in 2010 with a dip in the reversal rate to 41.82%.
In Table 272 below, we report the three-year floating reversal rates for the divisions of the First District of the Appellate Court. Between 2006 and 2010, only Divisions 1 and 6 of the First District consistently had reversal rates in criminal cases below the statewide average. Although Division 1 had a 50% reversal rate in 2006, the rate dropped to zero for the next three years, before increasing to a mere 12.5% in 2010. Division 6 had a reversal rate of 25% in 2006, 42.86% in 2007, and fifty percent the remaining three years.
The reversal rates of the remaining Divisions consistently ranked above the statewide average. Division 3 had a reversal rate between seventy and eighty percent in 2007, 2008 and 2010 – and a 100% reversal rate in 2009. The rate in Division 4 was between fifty and sixty percent from 2006 to 2008 before rising to 85.71% in 2009 and 77.78% the following year. The rate in Division 5 was two-thirds in 2006 and 2007 before falling to one-half the following three years.
In Table 273 below, we report the reversal rates for the remaining Districts (as with last week, the reversal rate called “District One” refers to unpublished cases which we were unable to attribute to a specific Division). For this period, the First and Third Districts’ reversal rates were significantly above the statewide average – the Third District in particular had a reversal rate between sixty and seventy percent in 2007 through 2009. The reversal rate in the First District was between sixty and sixty-three percent during that same period. The remaining Districts were all below the statewide average for the most part. The Second District for the most part was in line with the statewide average, but the Fourth District tended to be somewhat below – 42.31% in 2006, 30% in 2007, 47.37% in 2008, 52.63% in 2009 and 50% the following year. The Fifth District had by far the best performance in the state, with a three-year floating reversal rate of half in 2006 and 2007, and zero for the three years following. Direct appeals tended to result in reversals somewhat more frequently than the statewide average, staying between thirty and forty percent from 2008 to 2010, while appeals from the ARDC Review Board varied widely – one-third reversal in 2006, half in 2007 and 2008, and 100% the next two years.
Join us here tomorrow for a very special announcement. And next week, we’ll turn our attention to reversal rates between 2010 and 2015.