Yesterday, we reviewed the Court’s recent history with domestic relations cases. Today, we’re over in the criminal docket, looking at juvenile justice cases.
Between 1990 and 2017, the Court decided eighty juvenile justice cases. Only a bit over half of those cases – 51.25% – were won by the defendant/juvenile below. The Court was slightly less likely to reverse these cases than the average across the entire docket. The Court reversed 41.03% of the State victories it heard, 48.78% of the defendants’ wins it heard, and 48.75% of its juvenile justice cases overall.
In Table 801, we report the Court’s yearly number of State wins from the Appellate Court which were affirmed by the Supreme Court. The Court affirmed one case in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000 and 2001, three decisions in 2002, two in 2003, 2010 and 2011, one in 2013, two in 2014, one in 2015 and three in 2017.
The Court didn’t reverse a single State win from the Appellate Court in juvenile justice during the entire decade of the 90s. The Court reversed one case in 2001, two in 2002, three in 2004, two in 2006, one in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, three in 2016 and one in 2017.
Affirmances of juvenile defendant wins were nearly as scarce during the 90s as reversals of State wins. The Court affirmed once in 1994 and once in 1997. The Court reversed three times in 2001, twice in 2002, three times in 2003 and 2004, once in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, twice in 2013 and twice in 2015.
The Court reversed one defendant win in 1995 and one in 1998, two in 2000, 2001 and 2003, one in 2004, five in 2008, two in 2010, and one per year in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017.
Looking at overall reversal rates regardless of who won below, the Court reversed only 20% of its juvenile justice decisions between 1990 and 1995. The Court reversed in 42.86% of cases between 1996 and 2000. Between 2001 and 2005, juvenile justice cases became more common, and the Court reversed in 46.43%. Between 2006 and 2010, the Court reversed 68.75% of the time. Since 2010, the Court has heard a relatively steady flow of juvenile justice cases and has reversed in 45.83%.
Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to the Court’s history with two new areas of law.