By Alex Gronke
Only slightly more than half (56.9 percent) of the felony cases that reached a conclusion in Alameda County in fiscal 2012 resulted in a felony conviction, according to a report published this week by the Judicial Council of California.
The percentage statewide was 65 percent, and in neighboring Contra Costa County, it was 72.1 percent. The rest of the felony cases ended in misdemeanor convictions, in dismissals or in acquittals. (A tiny fraction were transferred to another jurisdiction.)
Those are a few of the nuggets of information in a 150-page annual report, which collected statistics from the state Supreme Court, the appellate courts and 58 county superior courts.
While the report found that the total number of cases filed in California’s courts declined by nearly 10 percent from 2011 to 2012, the council cautioned that years of budget cuts have altered the state’s judicial system for the worse.
“Although we’re uncertain about the conclusions, council members and our justice system partners are certain about how budget cuts have affected the public and have impacted access to justice—including reduced hours and closed courtrooms, fewer law enforcement officers on the street, and the reallocation of resources to focus on certain case types or services,” council member Doug Miller said in a press release.Judges in Alameda County are among the busiest in the state. With 85 judges and 366,452 filings in fiscal 2012, Alameda County Superior Court ranked 16 out of 58 in terms of filings per judge. Contra Costa County was 32 out of 58. The 11 judges in Imperial County Superior Court contended with the largest ratio of filings per judge.
Patch editor Charles Burress contributed to this report.