SCOCAblog, the online publication of the California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law and of the UC Law Journal, looks at the types of cases the Supreme Court has decided by opinion and also how often the court reverses the Courts of Appeal.

Looking at nearly 1,000 decisions from 2010 to 2022, SCOCAblog finds “a quarter were automatic [death penalty] appeals [excluded from the count are the small number of opinions deciding death row inmates’ habeas corpus petitions (e.g., here)] , about a third were general criminal, and 40% were general civil.”

The study found most death penalty judgments are affirmed on appeal and, excluding those appeals, a “noncapital case’s odds of being affirmed are about 40%, and a reversal in whole or in part is about 60%.”