Just as we did for civil cases in the last post, we begin by addressing the percentage of criminal cases which drew at least one amicus brief for the years 1990 through 2004.
As we see in Table 1744, the answer is: not many. In 1990, only 2.9% of criminal cases drew at least one extra brief. That rose to 4.62% in 1994 and 5.56% in 1996 but fell back to 13.89% in 1998. There were no criminal amicus briefs at all filed between 2000 and 2003. In 2004, 3.23% of criminal cases had at least one amicus brief.
Not surprisingly, the numbers per party are low as well. In 1990, appellants averaged 0.014 briefs per case. That rose to 0.056 by 1996 but fell back to 0.016 in 1997 and zero the following year. In 1999, appellants averaged 0.019 briefs per case. In 2004, the average was 0.016.
Criminal appellees averaged 0.014 briefs per case in 1990 before logging zero in 1992 and 1993. The number rose to 0.025 in 1995 before dropping back to zero in 1996 and 1997. It hit a high of 0.038 briefs per case in 1999, before returning to zero for the years 2000 through 2003 and ticking up slightly to 0.016 in 2004.
Join us back here next week as we address the yearly data for the years 2005 through 2020.