This time, we’re reviewing the same questions on the criminal side that we looked at yesterday on the civil: (1) what areas of law tend to draw the most amicus briefs; and (2) in those areas, do amicus briefs tend to be offensive (filed on behalf of appellants) or defensive (filed in support of appellees)? This week, we’re reviewing the data for the 1990s.
As we saw a couple of weeks ago, amicus briefs are quite rare on the criminal side in Illinois. For the decade – not surprisingly – constitutional law was far and away the most frequent area for amicus filings, with nine cases. Three criminal procedure cases drew amicus briefs. There were two cases involving habeas corpus and one each involving property crimes, mental health issues and sentencing law.
Constitutional law filings were predominantly offensive – seven supporting appellants, four briefs supporting appellees. In criminal procedure, there were two for appellants and one for appellees. For the remaining issues, all the amicus briefs during the 1990s supported appellees – habeas corpus (2 briefs), property crimes (2 briefs), mental health issues and sentencing law (1 brief each).
Join us back here next Tuesday and we’ll review the data for the years 2000 through 2009.