Yesterday, we addressed trends in the California Supreme Court’s special concurrences in civil cases between 2000 and 2015. Today, we turn to the Court’s special concurrences in criminal cases for the same years.

Between 2000 and 2007, the Court’s unanimity rate was typically between sixty and seventy percent. The unanimity rate was up sharply in the eight years that followed. In 2008, 87.88% of the Court’s criminal decisions were unanimous. In 2009, 80.33% were unanimous, and the following year, 80.82% were. In 2011, 72.55% of the Court’s criminal decisions were unanimous. The following year, 79.22% were unanimous. In 2013, the unanimity rate was up only slightly; 82% of the Court’s decisions were unanimous. The following year, the unanimity rate was 83.93%. In 2015, three-quarters of the Court’s decisions were unanimous.

We turn next to the Court’s lopsided rate – the percentage of the Court’s criminal decisions with zero or one dissenter. Between 2000 and 2007, the Court decided between three quarters and eighty-five percent of its cases lopsidedly. In 2008, 90.91% of the Court’s decisions were lopsided. The following year, 91.8% of the Court’s decisions were lopsided. The lopsided rate was between eighty and ninety percent for the three years between 2010 and 2012 – 83.56% in 2010, 80.39% in 2011 and 89.61% in 2012. In 2013, 90% of the Court’s criminal decisions were unanimous. In 2014, 89.29% were. In 2015, the lopsided rate dropped somewhat, with 81.82% of the Court’s criminal cases having zero or one dissenter.

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Join us back here next Thursday as we turn our attention to the Court’s dissents.