Yesterday, we disaggregated the data on oral arguments in civil cases where there is a partial or complete reversal. Today, we’re looking at the criminal cases.
First, we review the data for outright reversals – did the appellants or appellees average more questions per argument? We report the data in Table 1673 below. In ten of thirteen years between 2008 and 2020, appellees averaged more questions than appellants in outright reversals.
Now let’s look at the split decisions. Once again, the same caution – these are typically very small data sets, so we must be cautious about our conclusions. But once again, the data shifts just a bit. In only six of the past thirteen years – less than half the time – have appellees averaged more questions than appellants in cases that ended in split decisions: “affirmed in part, reversed in part.”
Join us back here next Tuesday as we continue our review of the oral argument data.