Yesterday, we discussed the distribution of majority opinions in civil cases at the Illinois Supreme Court between 2005 and 2009. Today, we turn to the distribution of majorities in criminal cases during the same years.

For 2005, non-unanimous majorities in criminal cases were evenly spread among the Justices, with Chief Justice McMorrow and Justices Garman, Kilbride and Fitzgerald writing two each. Justices Thomas and Karmeier wrote one apiece. In 2006, Justice Garman led the Court with five non-unanimous majorities in criminal cases. Justice Fitzgerald wrote three majorities, Justice Karmeier two, and Chief Justice Thomas and Justices Kilbride, Freeman and McMorrow wrote one each. For 2007, Justice Freeman led the Court with three majority opinions in non-unanimous criminal cases. Justice Fitzgerald wrote two, and Justices Garman, Kilbride and Karmeier wrote one apiece. The following year, Justice Freeman again led with three majority opinions. Justice Garman wrote two, and Chief Justice Fitzgerald and Justice Karmeier wrote one each. Finally, in 2009, Chief Justice Fitzgerald and Justice Karmeier each wrote three majorities in non-unanimous criminal cases. Justices Freeman and Kilbride wrote two each, and Justice Garman wrote one.

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In Table 369 below, we report the distribution as a percentage of the total non-unanimous criminal decisions. In 2005, Chief Justice McMorrow and Justices Garman, Kilbride and Fitzgerald each wrote twenty percent of the Court’s non-unanimous criminal decisions. In 2006, Justice Garman wrote 35.71% of the non-unanimous criminal decisions. Justice Fitzgerald wrote 21.43% of the cases, and Justice Karmeier wrote 14.29%. In 2007, Justice Freeman wrote 37.5% of the non-unanimous criminal decisions. Justices Garman, Kilbride and Karmeier wrote 12.5% each. The following year, Justice Freeman wrote 42.86% of the non-unanimous criminal cases. Justice Garman wrote 28.57%, and Justices Karmeier and Fitzgerald wrote 14.29% each. In 2009, Chief Justice Fitzgerald and Justice Karmeier wrote 27.27% of the non-unanimous criminal cases each. Justices Freeman and Kilbride wrote 18.18% each.

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We report the spread of majority opinions in unanimous criminal decisions in Table 370 below. In 2005, Justice Freeman led the Court with nine unanimous criminal majority opinions. Justice Thomas wrote eight, Chief Justice McMorrow wrote seven. Justice Karmeier wrote six and Justices Garman, Kilbride and Fitzgerald wrote five apiece. In 2006, Justices Fitzgerald and Kilbride led the Court with seven majority opinions each. Chief Justice Thomas wrote six, and Justices Freeman and Karmeier wrote five apiece. Chief Justice McMorrow and Justice Garman wrote two majorities, and Justice Burke wrote one. The following year, Justices Burke and Thomas led with four majorities each in unanimous criminal cases. Justices Garman, Kilbride and Karmeier wrote three each, and Justice Freeman wrote two. In 2008, Justice Burke led the Court, writing eight majority opinions in unanimous criminal decisions. Chief Justice Thomas and Justices Karmeier and Fitzgerald wrote seven apiece, Justice Garman wrote six, Justice Freeman four and Justice Kilbride wrote two. In 2009, Chief Justice Thomas and Justice Burke led with seven majority opinions apiece. Justices Garman and Freeman wrote six apiece, Justice Kilbride wrote five, Chief Justice Fitzgerald four and Justice Karmeier three.

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In 2005, Justice Freeman wrote twenty percent of the Court’s majority opinions in unanimous criminal cases. Justice Thomas wrote 17.78% and Chief Justice McMorrow wrote 15.56%. In 2006, Justice Fitzgerald wrote twenty percent of the Court’s unanimous majorities in criminal cases. Chief Justice Thomas wrote 17.14%, and Justices Freeman and Karmeier wrote 14.29% each. For 2007, Chief Justice Thomas and Justice Burke wrote 21.05% of the majority opinions. Justices Garman, Kilbride and Karmeier wrote 15.79% apiece. In 2008, Justice Burke wrote 19.51% of the Court’s unanimous majorities. Chief Justice Thomas and Justices Karmeier and Fitzgerald wrote 17.07% apiece, and Justice Garman wrote 14.63%. In 2009, Chief Justice Thomas and Justice Burke led the Court with 18.42% of the unanimous criminal majorities. Justices Garman and Freeman were next at 15.79% apiece.

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Join us back here next Tuesday as we turn our attention to the Court’s majority opinions between 2010 and 2016.