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).