Last time, we reviewed the 3-year floating average reversal rates in criminal cases for the Divisions of the First District.  In this post, we’re looking at the data for the rest of the state: the Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Districts of the Appellate Court, and direct appeals from trial court judgments.

Between 1992 and 2000, the Second and Fifth Districts remained, for the most part, around the long-term trend reversal rate of 40-55%.  The Third District was a bit high – 69.57% in 1992, two-thirds reversal in 1993, 74.36% in 1994, 83.33% in 1998, 81.82% in 1999 and two-thirds in 2000.  The Fourth District started in the middle but was on the high side for the last four years of the period: 73.33% (1997), 64.29% (1998), 76.47% (1999) and 73.33% (2000).  The reversal rate for direct appeals was almost entirely unchanged across the nine years, nearly always between 40 and 45%.

Between 2001 and 2009, the reversal rate for the Second District rose from one-third in 2001 to the high fifties and sixties by the end of the period.  The Third District’s criminal reversal rate was in the fifties and sixties each year before finishing the period at 72.73% in 2008 and 70% in 2009.  The Fourth District’s reversal rate fell each year from 2001 (80.77%) to 2005 (44.44%).  Aside from a one-year dip to 30% in 2007, the rate stayed in the middle forties for several years before hitting 50% in 2009.  The Fifth District reversal rate was at 50% in 2003, 2004 and 2008, 55.56% in 2006, and two-thirds in 2005 and 2007.  The reversal rate for direct appeals was relatively low from 2001 (35.16%) to 2005 (39.02%), but then rose to 63.64% in 2006.  By 2009, the reversal rate for direct appeals was 45.45%.

Between 2010 and 2019, the Second District’s criminal reversal rate has varied quite a bit, from 38.46% in 2013 and 30.77% in 2014 to the mid-sixties in 2016, 2018 and 2019 and 87.5% in 2017.  Nevertheless, the numbers across the entire ten-year period compute to a median very close to its thirty-year average.  The Third District’s reversal rate was in the low-to-mid sixties for the most part from 2010 to 2016 (with the exception of a small jump to 75% in 2013), before dropping into the fifties for 2017, 2018 and 2019.  The Fourth District’s reversal rate was low for the most part from 2010 to 2016, but has jumped recently to 72.73% in 2017, 66.67% in 2018 and 72.73% in 2019.  The Fifth District’s reversal rate in criminal cases has been high in recent years: 100% in each year from 2010 to 2013, 83.33% in 2014, 75% in 2015, 72.73% in 2016, 66.67% in 2017, 71.43% in 2018 and 66.67% in 2019.  Direct appeals from the trial courts were faring well from 2010 to 2012 with reversal rates of 40%, 50% and 42.86%, respectively, but have been higher since: 75% (2015), 73.33% (2016), 92.31% (2017), 90.91% (2018) and 62.5% (2019).

In our final Table, we report the overall reversal rate for each District and Division for the entire period thirty-year period.  Unattributed cases from the First District were reversed 45.45% of the time.  Divisions One through Five of the First District had reversal rates in the mid-fifties – 56.25% (Division One), 54.35% (Division Two), 56.72% (Division Three), 56.82% (Division Four), and 50% (Division Five).  Division Six had a reversal rate of 46.34%.  The Second District’s overall reversal rate is 53.23%.  The Third District’s reversal rate is 63.83%.  Both the Fourth and Fifth Districts were in the mid-fifties – 56.52% (Fourth District) and 55.84% (Fifth District).  Direct appeals from the trial courts were reversed in 41.68% of cases.

Join us back here next week as we turn our attention to a new topic.                          

Image courtesy of Flickr by Gary Todd (no changes).