Yesterday, we addressed the District-by-District three-year floating reversal rates in civil cases in the Courts of Appeal from 2002 through 2007. Today we turn our attention to the performance of the Courts of Appeal in criminal cases.

Division Two of the First District improved its performance consistently through these years – from one-quarter affirmance in 2002, to half in 2003, to two-thirds in 2004, to one hundred percent from 2005 through 2007. Many of Division Three’s cases were reversed – zero affirmance in 2002 through 2004, one-third in 2005, one-quarter in 2006 and half in 2007. Division Four slipped below fifty percent affirmance between 2004 and 2006. Division Five was at one-half affirmance in 2003 and 2005, sixty percent in 2004 and forty percent in 2006.

Nearly all decisions of Division One of the Second District were affirmed during these years – 83.33% in 2002, 100% between 2003 and 2006. Less than half of Division Two’s cases were affirmed between 2002 and 2004, but all of them were for 2005 and 2006. For Division Three of the Second District, 37.5% were affirmed in 2002, 33.33% in 2004, one-quarter in 2005 and half in 2006. The affirmance rate for Division Four of the Second District hovered around the statewide average throughout these years. For Division Five, 71.43% were affirmed in 2002, three-quarters in 2004 and one hundred percent in 2005-2007.

Most of the criminal decisions from Divisions Six and Seven of the Second District were affirmed. The three-year floating reversal rate for Division Six in 2003 was one hundred percent. The rate was eighty percent in 2004 and 2006, three-quarters in 2005 and two-thirds in 2007. In 2004 and 2005, 71.43% and three-quarters of the decisions from Division Seven were affirmed. Finally, half of the decisions from Division Eight were affirmed in 2005, two-thirds in 2006 and sixty percent in 2007.

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Division Three’s criminal decisions have fared better as the period wore on – fifty percent affirmed in 2002, one-third in 2003, 47.37% in 2004, 55.56% in 2005, 70% in 2006 and 72.73% in 2007. Division One of the Fourth District has consistently had about half of its criminal decisions affirmed during these years – 50% in 2003, 52.38% in 2004, half in 2005 and 54.55% in 2006. Division Two of the Fourth District has had less than half of its criminal decisions affirmed in most years – 40% in 2002 and 2004, one-third in 2003 and 2005, half in 2006 and 42.86% in 2007. Division Three of the Fourth District has seen between two-thirds and three-quarters of its criminal decisions affirmed. The Fifth District has performed at about the statewide average – 60% in 2002, 56.25% in 2003 and 2004, 52.94% in 2005, 63.64% in 2006 and 69.23% in 2007. The Sixth District started slowly, but has improved throughout the period – 40% three-year weighted affirmance in 2002, 57.14% in 2003, 80% in 2004, 100% in 2005, 70% in 2006, and 63.64% in 2007.

Not surprisingly – given that the classification includes automatic death penalty appeals – comparatively few direct appeals have ended in affirmance. Only 14.63% of direct appeals were affirmed in 2002. Only 20.41% were in 2003, and only 20.97% in 2004. Between 2005 and 2007, less than one in five direct appeals were affirmed: 16% in 2005, 15.07% in 2006 and 14.67% in 2007.

Click here to view table. 

Join us back here next Thursday as we turn our attention to the Court of Appeal’s reversal rates between 2008 and 2015.