2009 Federal Judiciary Report Released

At 6:00 p.m. last night, Chief Justice John Roberts released the 2009 Report on the Federal Judiciary. The number of criminal cases filed reached its highest level since 1932:

Criminal case filings (including transfers) rose 8% to 76,655, and the number of defendants climbed 6% to 97,982, surpassing the previous record for the number of defendants, 92,714, set in 2003. The number of criminal cases reached its highest level since 1932, the year before ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed prohibition. In that year, 92,174 criminal cases were filed.

The number of marijuana cases increased while the number of other drug, firearms and explosives cases declined. Immigration cases increased big-time: [More...]

Increases occurred in cases related to immigration, fraud, marijuana trafficking, and sex offenses. Filings in other offense categories with significant numbers—non-marijuana drugs and firearms-and-explosives— declined. Immigration filings climbed to record levels, as cases jumped 21% to 25,804, and the number of defendants rose 19% to 26,961.

Why the big increase in immigration criminal cases?

This growth resulted mostly from filings addressing either improper reentry by aliens or fraud or misuse of a visa or entry permit. The charge of improper reentry by an alien accounted for 80% of all immigration cases and 77% of all immigration defendants. The vast majority of immigration cases—88%— were filed in the five southwestern border districts.

The number of persons on supervised release and under supervision by Probation increased. There are 124,183 persons under post-conviction supervision. 80% of them were released from prison on supervised release. Pre-trial supervision cases (which includes pre-trial diversion and I assume people on bond) grew 6% to 105,294.

Bankruptcy filings were up 35% from 2008.

For the Supreme Court: While filings were down,

During the 2008 Term, 87 cases were argued and 83 were disposed of in 74 signed opinions, compared to 75 cases argued and 72 disposed of in 67 signed opinions in the 2007 Term.

Justice Roberts concludes:

The courts are operating soundly, and the nation’s dedicated federal judges are conscientiously discharging their duties....Best wishes in the New Year.

< Happy New Year's Eve | New Year College Football Thread >
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  • Display: Sort:
    How much more before it isn't 'sound'? (none / 0) (#1)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:01:19 AM EST
    I'd say it's unsound, already. Any system that piles on the charges in order to keep you from challenging its' innate injustice via a jury trial (all for the sake of not impeding said system's 'efficiency' at grinding you, the average citizen, into dust) isn't a definition of 'soundness' to me.

    Some triage is in order if the 'justice' system is to be saved from its' present unsound 'soundness'. And that means ending drug prohibition in toto. For that's where that piling on begins.

    Significant Taser ruling today (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 06:32:23 PM EST
    Maybe the number of criminal cases (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:05:50 PM EST
    is up because more people are just getting caught....?  Criminals have always been among us, and always seem to be one or two steps ahead of the cops, but now the technology is catching up.  (Seems to me if many of these people spent half as much time doing something productive for society and themselves as opposed to the time and effort wasted trying to outfox the law, we would all be better off).

    Seems to me... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 08:03:33 AM EST
    if the state spent half as much time cleaning up its code, its act, and its focus...as opposed to the time and effort wasted tyrannizing people over non-crimes like reefer and border crossing, we would all be better off.  

    And Roberts says all is sound?  Are we sure I'm the one on dope cuz thats a dopey thing to say...is this guy blind or just willfully ignorant?


    As much as you would like to think (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 07:46:01 AM EST
    That everybody who gets arrested and sent to jail in this country is innocent, and that every cop is dirty, and every law is bad, and the system is completely corrupt, that's just not true.  You don't like the drug laws - I get that.  But right now it's the law - people who use drugs know that going in.  People who cross the border illegally know that going in.  People who steal cars, rob banks, rape, assault, and kill also know that going in; ergo, they are responsible for the consequences that occurs if they choose to engage in behavior that is illegal. Libertarian view, right?  You accept the consequences of your behavior?

    Do some laws need to be changed? Sure, but until they are, you need to follow the law or pay the price if you get caught. We as a society have decided that we want certain things to be illegal (which does not mean that every person agreed).  Why should some random person get to decide what laws they will follow and which they will ignore because they don't like them?

    Hey. look at it this way - if everyone followed the law, then we really would have less of a need for police and jails and such. Until that day comes, you're stuck with someone looking over your shoulder.


    Nonsense... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 08:35:58 AM EST
    if everyone followed every law to a "T", we wouldn't see less cops and cages, we'd see new laws until we started breaking laws again.

    No, not everybody who gets arrested is innocent in the legal sense, some are in the moral sense...the natural sense.  Guilty of a non-crime is no guilt at all...it is innocence.

    Of course no one should be suprised when they get chained and caged for non-crime...but that don't make it ok to chain and cage for non-crime.  These are the crimes of the collective.