63.3 F
Park Forest
Saturday, August 13, 2022
Subscribe to eNews Park Forest

New Report Finds Explosive Campaign Spending and ‘Soft-on-Crime’ Attack Ads Impact State Supreme Court Rulings in Criminal Cases

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–October 28, 2013. The recent explosion in judicial campaign cash and the growing use of “soft-on-crime” attack ads in state supreme court elections is impacting states’ criminal justice systems, according to a new report out today from the Center for American Progress. “Criminals and Campaign Cash” explores how, as state supreme court campaigns become more expensive, the growing number of political ads that distort facts about judges’ criminal rulings create political pressure for judges to rule in favor of the state and against criminal defendants. The findings of the report reveal a clear trend: As campaign cash increased, the courts studied began to rule more often in favor of prosecutors and against criminal defendants.

“Judges who are running for reelection do keep in mind what the next 30-second ad is going to look like,” said former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz, who attended an event today at the Center for American Progress to release the report.

To analyze the impact of campaign cash on criminal defendants, Billy Corriher, the author and Associate Director of Research for Legal Progress at CAP, examined state supreme courts that saw their first election in which the candidates and independent spenders spent more than $3 million, including the high courts in Illinois, Mississippi, Washington, Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and West Virginia. Corriher then analyzed the outcomes of 4,684 rulings in criminal cases for a period starting five years before a given state’s first $3 million high-court election and ending five years after that election.

In 2004, when the Illinois judicial race broke campaign-spending records and voters were bombarded with attack ads featuring violent criminals, the Illinois high court ruled in favor of the prosecution in 69 percent of its criminal cases—an 18 percent increase over the previous year. Similarly, in Mississippi, there was a sharp 20 percent increase in rulings against criminal defendants in the two years after the state saw its first $3 million election.

iLLINOIS sUPREME COURT

The link between campaign cash and rulings in criminal cases were strongest in years that saw more ads produced and paid for by independent groups unaffiliated with the candidates. The one court in the study that saw no independent spending, the Nevada Supreme Court, did not exhibit a tendency to rule for the state during big-money elections. In contrast, in Washington and Georgia where the high courts saw a huge spike in independent spending, the percentage of rulings against criminal defendants peaked.

Washington

Source: americanprogress.org

 

Recent Articles

Stay Connected

3,827FansLike
1,274FollowersFollow
574SubscribersSubscribe

Local Advertisers

DonnerHollen Construction
Prairie State College
Dining on the Green, Downtown Park Forest
Proud member of LION Publishers

ENEWSPF NEWS ALERTS

Trending

Park Forest
overcast clouds
63.3 ° F
68.8 °
56.8 °
76 %
1.3mph
100 %
Sat
80 °
Sun
82 °
Mon
79 °
Tue
81 °
Wed
76 °

About Google Ads

The Google-supplied ads that appear on this website are not reviewed ahead of time and differ for each visitor. If anything offensive, inappropriate, or otherwise unwholesome appears, please notify us so we can take steps to block that specific advertiser. Email the URL or advertiser name to [email protected].