Friday, December 23, 2016

Statistics on Reversals by Courts of Appeals in Criminal Cases (12/23/16)

These U.S. Court statistics, here, offer an interesting statistic on percentage of reversals by the federal Courts of Appeals in All Cases (Total) and in Criminal cases.

Year Total Criminal
2011 8.7 6.5
2012 6.7 6.9
2013 6.8 5.8
2014 7.3 6.1
2015 8.6 6.9

The basis for the statistics is not clear from the presentation of the data.  For example, if the defendant were convicted on 3 counts of tax evasion, each count of which permits a sentence up to 5 years, and the sentence in the case on appeal, was less than 5 years, the reversal of two of the counts might not affect the sentence (because the tax loss for the Guidelines calculation is determined by including tax loss on even acquitted counts).

Still, even assuming that the reversal resulting in all counts of conviction being eliminated and no retrial, the statistical probability for such a reversal is pretty low.

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