Conviction rate

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The conviction rate of a prosecutor or government is the number of convictions divided by the number of criminal cases brought. Japan has a conviction rate that exceeds 99%, which has been attributed to low prosecutorial budgets impelling understaffed prosecutors to present judges with only the most obviously guilty defendants.[1] In the U.S. federal court system, the conviction rose from approximately 75 percent to approximately 85% between 1972 and 1992.[2] For 2011, the US Department of Justice reported a 93% conviction rate.[3] The conviction rate is also high in U.S. state courts. Coughlan writes, "In recent years, the conviction rate has averaged approximately 84% in Texas, 82% in California, 72% in New York, 67% in North Carolina, and 59% in Florida."[4]

The Crown Court has a conviction rate of 80%, according to the BBC, while the Football Association there wins 99% of the time (in football proceedings).[5]


  1. ^ J. Mark Ramseyer and Eric B. Rasmusen (Jan 2001), Why Is the Japanese Conviction Rate so High? 30 (1), The Journal of Legal Studies, pp. 53–88 
  2. ^ Sara Sun Beale, Federalizing Crime: Assessing the Impact on the Federal Courts 543, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 
  3. ^ "United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Report for Fiscal Year 2011". United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  4. ^ Peter J. Coughlan (Jun 2000), In Defense of Unanimous Jury Verdicts: Mistrials, Communication, and Strategic Voting 94 (2), The American Political Science Review, pp. 375–393 
  5. ^ "FA defends its discipline system". BBC News.