For the past two weeks, we’ve been tracking the history, year-by-year, of which Justices most frequently author the Court’s majority opinion in civil and criminal cases, both when the Court is divided and when the Court is unanimous. Today, we turn our attention to the Court’s criminal docket for the years 2010 through 2015.

For 2010, Justice Kilbride led the Court with five majority opinions in non-unanimous criminal cases. Chief Justice Fitzgerald and Justices Burke and Thomas each had two, and Justice Garman wrote one. For 2011, Justice Theis led in non-unanimous criminal majorities with three. Chief Justice Kilbride and Justice Thomas wrote two apiece, and Justices Burke, Garman and Karmeier wrote one each. For 2012, Justices Garman and Burke wrote four apiece, and Justice Theis wrote two. The next year, Justices Burke and Thomas led with three apiece, Chief Justice Garman and Justice Thomas wrote two each, and Justices Thomas, Kilbride and Theis each wrote one. In 2014, Chief Justice Garman and Justice Karmeier wrote two non-unanimous criminal majorities each, with Justices Freeman, Kilbride and Theis writing one each. Last year, Chief Justice Garman and Justice Thomas wrote two apiece, and Justices Kilbride and Theis each wrote one.

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For 2010, Justice Kilbride wrote 41.67% of the Court’s non-unanimous criminal majority opinions. Justices Thomas and Burke wrote 16.67% each. In 2011, Justice Theis wrote 30%, Chief Justice Kilbride and Justice Thomas wrote 20% apiece, and Justices Burke, Garman and Karmeier wrote 10% apiece. In 2012, Justices Burke and Garman wrote 40% of the non-unanimous criminal majorities apiece. In 2013, Justices Burke and Thomas wrote 23.08% of the cases. Chief Justice Garman and Justice Karmeier wrote 15.38% apiece. The following year, Chief Justice Garman and Justice Karmeier wrote 28.57% of the Court’s non-unanimous criminal majorities apiece. Last year, Chief Justice Garman and Justice Thomas wrote one-third each, and Justices Kilbride and Theis wrote the remainder.

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We report the majority opinions in unanimous criminal decisions in Table 378 below. Justice Garman led the Court with eight majority opinions. Justices Kilbride, Thomas and Karmeier were next with seven apiece. Justice Freeman wrote five majorities, Justice Burke four and Chief Justice Fitzgerald two. In 2011, Justice Freeman led with seven unanimous majority opinions. Chief Justice Kilbride wrote six, Justices Burke, Garman and Karmeier wrote five apiece, Justice Thomas wrote four and Justice Theis wrote two. In 2012, Justice Theis led the Court with five majority opinions in unanimous criminal cases. Justice Karmeier was next with four, followed by Justices Burke, Garman and Thomas with three apiece. Justice Theis led again with six majority opinions in 2013. Justice Karmeier was next with five, and Chief Justice Garman and Justice Freeman had four apiece. Justice Thomas wrote three majority opinions, Justice Burke wrote two and Justice Kilbride wrote one. For 2014, Justice Thomas led the Court with six majority opinions in unanimous criminal cases. Chief Justice Garman and Justices Freeman and Kilbride wrote five apiece. Justice Theis wrote three, Justice Karmeier wrote two, and Justice Burke wrote one. Last year, Justice Burke led with five majorities. Justices Freeman, Kilbride, Thomas, Karmeier and Theis wrote four apiece, and Chief Justice Garman wrote two.

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Finally, we report each Justices’ share of the total unanimous majority decisions in Table 379 below. Justice Garman led in 2010 with 20% of the Court’s unanimous criminal majorities. Justices Kilbride, Thomas and Karmeier each wrote 17.5%. For 2011, Justice Freeman led with 20.59%. Chief Justice Kilbride wrote 17.65%, and Justices Burke, Garman and Karmeier wrote 14.71% each. The next year, Justice Theis led with 22.73% of the Court’s unanimous criminal majorities. Justice Karmeier wrote 18.18%, and Justices Burke, Garman and Thomas wrote 13.64% each. For 2013, Justice Theis once again led, writing 24% of the unanimous criminal majorities. Justice Karmeier wrote 20%, and Justices Garman and Freeman wrote 16% each. For 2014, Justice Thomas led with 22.22% of the Court’s unanimous majorities. Chief Justice Garman and Justices Freeman and Kilbride wrote 18.52% each. Last year, Justice Burke led, writing 18.52% of the Court’s unanimous criminal majorities. Justices Freeman, Kilbride, Thomas, Karmeier and Theis wrote 14.81% apiece.

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Join us back here next week as we turn to another phase of our ongoing study of the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision making.