This time, we’re taking a closer look at what might be driving the reversal rate for criminal cases from the Third District.
First, let’s take a look at the subject breakdown of the criminal cases which have reached the Supreme Court. A large share of the cases was in two areas: criminal procedure (57 cases) and constitutional law (50 cases). Then it dropped off sharply: sentencing (27 cases), habeas corpus (18 cases) and juvenile justice (15 cases). The eight remaining areas of law were minor players, accounting for fewer than ten cases apiece.
Next, we review the reversal rates in each area of law. The overall reversal rate from 1990 to 2020 for criminal cases from the Third District was 64.18%. For criminal procedure, the reversal rate was a bit higher than that – 66.67%. Constitutional law was a bit lower, at 62%. Habeas corpus cases also had a lower-than-baseline reversal rate: 61.11%. The reversal rate for juvenile justice cases was quite low – 40%. Of the prominent issues on the docket, the only one with a reversal rate significantly above the overall average was the 27 sentencing cases (77.78%).