More Montejo, Mostly

Update: Another statistical analysis of Judge Sotomayor’s work in criminal cases appears here. The conclusion — that she’s pretty close to the middle of the road — is the same as the conclusion in the McClatchy story I referenced originally, but the figures are very different, showing that she has ruled in favor of the defendant in only 7% of criminal cases. I assume that the difference is explained by differences in the data sets, like McClatchy’s exclusion of habeas cases.

Original Post: Bob Farb’s detailed exploration of Montejo v. Louisiana is available here. (My previous post on the case is here.) Two terrific things about Bob’s summary are (1) the amount of context that it provides, and (2) the clear explanation that it provides of how Montejo will affect officers’ work.

The decision has, justifiably, begun to attract some public attention, including a New York Times editorial, here, and a National Law Journal piece, here, juxtaposing the case against Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and emphasizing the importance of a single vote.

Speaking of Judge Sotomayor, an interesting piece about her criminal law decisions by the McClatchy Newspapers appears here. The conclusion is that she’s “far from soft on crime,” a conclusion based in part on statistics showing that she voted in favor of the defendant in 28% of the criminal cases she’s heard over the past five years. Apparently, that’s par for the course on the Second Circuit. (In the Fourth Circuit, or in our state appellate courts, that number would put her on one end of the bell curve, but perhaps different courts see different types of issues.)