For the past week, we’ve been refining our analysis of the reversal rates of each District and Division of the Court of Appeal by tracking the average votes to affirm of each District and Division before the Supreme Court. Today, we address the average votes to affirm in criminal cases between 2008 and 2015. As before, we use three-year floating averages.

Division One of the First District performed quite well during this period, averaging 6.33 votes to affirm in 2008 and 2009 and 7 votes in 2010, 2014 and 2015. Division Two has been well under the statewide average, with 1.4 average votes to affirm in 2008, 2 in 2009, 2.67 in 2010, 0.75 in 2011, 1.5 in 2012 and 1.8 in 2013. Division Three of the First District was frequently unanimously affirmed early in the period, averaging seven votes to affirm from 2008 through 2011. Division Four of the First District averaged six votes to affirm from 2009 through 2011 and seven votes in 2012, but 3.5 in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Division Five of the First District did relatively well between 2010 and 2012 – 4.4 votes in 2010, 5.2 in 2011, 3.43 in 2012 – before falling to one in 2013, 2.5 in 2014 and 2.33 in 2015.

Division One of the Second District has seen its average votes to affirm increase over the past few years, from zero in 2008, 2009 and 2010, to 2.5 in 2011, 3 in 2012, 4.17 in 2013, 4 in 2014 and 5 in 2015. For the most part, Division Two of the Second District has fared well in criminal matters, with 3.5 average votes to affirm in 2008 and 2009, 7 in 2014 and 3.5 in 2015. Division Three was frequently reversed in the early part of the period, with average votes to affirm of 1.25 in 2008, zero in 2009, 1.5 in 2010 and 2.25 in 2011, before rising to 3 in 2012, 6 in 2013, 6.67 in 2014 and 7 in 2015. Division Four of the Second District fared well early, with four votes to affirm in 2008, 3.75 in 2009, 4.25 in 2010 and 3.33 in 2011, but has fallen off since. District Five has been increasing lately, averaging 3.17 votes in 2012, 4.75 in 2013 and 3.5 in 2014. Division Six has averaged fewer than five votes to affirm in five of the eight years – 1.33 in 2008, 1.17 in 2009, 1.5 in 2010, 1.75 in 2014 and 0 in 2015. Division Seven of the Second District has averaged consistently below the statewide average – 2.43 in 2008, 1.86 in 2009, 2 in 2010, 1 in 2011, 1 in 2013, and 3 in 2014 and 2015. Division Eight has been below the statewide average as well, although higher than Division Seven – 2.67 in 2009, 4 in 2010, 3.33 in 2011, 3.25 in 2012, 3.33 in 2013, 2.75 in 2014 and 3.5 in 2015.

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The Third District has fared as well as any District in the state in criminal cases between 2008 and 2015. The court averaged 2.62 votes to affirm in 2008, 3.31 in 2009, 4.1 in 2010, 4.24 in 2011, 4.32 in 2012, 4 votes in 2013, 4.14 in 2014 and 3.5 in 2015. Division One of the Fourth District has generally averaged somewhat below the statewide average – 2.33 votes in 2008, 3.11 in 2009, 3.08 in 2010, 2.64 in 2011, 2.44 in 2012, 1.75 in 2013, 1.87 votes in 2014 and 2.25 votes in 2015. Division Two fared well early in these years – 3.1 votes to affirm in 2008, 3.8 in 2009, 4.56 in 2010, 3.63 in 2011 and 3.3 in 2012 – before tailing off recently: 1.38 votes to affirm in 2013, 2.14 in 2014 and 0.86 in 2015. Division Three has been the same, with four votes to affirm in 2009 and 2010, 5.6 in 2011 and 3.5 in 2012, before falling to 1.75 in 2013, 0.88 in 2014 and 2.13 in 2015.

The Fifth District has been slightly below the statewide average, with 2.57 votes to affirm in 2008, 3.5 from 2009 to 2011, 2.22 in 2012, 3.25 in 2013 and 2.78 in 2014, before rising to 4.75 in 2015. The Sixth District has usually been below the statewide average in recent years as well, falling from 4.55 in 2009 to 2.9 in 2010, 2.78 in 2011, 2.29 in 2012, 2.9 in 2013, 2.17 in 2014 and only two votes to affirm in 2015.

Almost entirely because of death penalty appeals, direct appeals from the Circuit Courts have consistently led the state in average votes to affirm on the criminal side. In 2008, direct appeals averaged 5.46 votes to affirm. The next year, the average was 5.48. In 2010, the average was 5.61, 5.91 in 2011, 5.76 in 2012, 5.74 in 2013, 5.11 in 2014 and 4.77 in 2015.

Click here to view table. 

Join us back here next Thursday as we turn our attention to another subject – the evolving composition of the Court’s civil and criminal dockets by area of law.