Death Penalty Cases Account for 1 Percent of Appellate Court Caseloads

For the 2010 reporting period, 12 courts of last resort and one intermediate appellate court reported complete death penalty caseloads. For these courts, death penalty cases equaled 1 percent of the total caseload for each court type. Death penalty appeals are typically appeals by right in a state’s court of last resort. The two exceptions are Alabama and Tennessee, both of which have intermediate appellate courts dedicated to hearing criminal appeals, including death penalty appeals.