Yesterday, we demonstrated that while affirmances generally are pending longer in California from grant of review to argument to decision, the evidence is more equivocal in Illinois, at least on the civil side. Today, we look at the criminal side of the docket. So, does there appear to be any correlation between the final result and the lag time in criminal cases?
Our data contains 128 affirmances and 136 reversals between 2010 and 2016. From allowance of the petition for leave to appeal to oral argument, criminal cases which ended in affirmance averaged 260.38 days, while reversals averaged 288.06 days.
We report the data from oral argument to decision in Table 448 below. For affirmances, the average time from argument to decision is 122.84 days. For reversals, the average is 140.43 days. So, it turns out that for three of our four measures (grant to argument and argument to decision for civil and criminal), reversals took longer over a seven year stretch than affirmances did. This leaves us with the question of whether our result is statistical noise, or there’s a concrete reason why reversals seem to take longer in Illinois, while affirmances do in California.
Nor is the variability markedly higher in the criminal-side data. The standard deviation for the grant-to-argument data is 72.588 for affirmances, 117.162 for reversals. For argument-to-decision, the standard deviation is 84.674 for affirmances and 78.5 for reversals – figures which are roughly comparable to our measurements on the civil side.
Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to another question in our ongoing study of the decision making of the Illinois Supreme Court.