Civil Rights Prosecutions for December 2012

Number Latest Month 21
Number Previous Month 8
Percent Change from 1 year ago -22.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago 23.4
Table 1: Criminal Civil Rights Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during December 2012 the government reported 21 new civil rights prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up from 8 the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with civil rights-related offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys. (See Table 2)

When monthly 2012 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was down (-22.5 percent). Prosecutions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are up 23.4 percent from levels reported in 2007.

The growth in these cases is partly related to increases in the matters filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. If magistrate cases are excluded and only Federal District Court cases are counted, the overall increase in civil rights prosecutions is 18.6 percent instead of 23.4 percent. The evidence suggests that part of the difference may be the result of improvements in the recording of the magistrate cases by the Justice Department.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in civil rights prosecutions

The increase from the levels five years ago in civil rights prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 2. The vertical bars in Figure 2 represent the number of civil rights prosecutions of this type recorded on a month-to-month basis. Where a prosecution was initially filed in U.S. Magistrate Court and then transferred to the U.S. District Court, the magistrate filing date was used since this provides an earlier indicator of actual trends. The superimposed line on the bars plots the six-month moving average so that natural fluctuations are smoothed out. To view trends year-by-year rather than month-by-month, see TRAC's annual report series for a broader picture.

Number of Defendants in Civil Rights Cases

Table 2 lists all separate cases with the number of defendants.

Case Defendant #  
2012 - Arizona (Phoenix) Case: 1 1 Details
2012 - Arizona (Phoenix) Case: 1 2 Details
2012 - Arizona (Phoenix) Case: 1 3 Details
2012 - N. Y., E (Brooklyn) Case: 2 1 Details
2012 - N. Y., E (Brooklyn) Case: 2 2 Details
2012 - N. Y., E (Brooklyn) Case: 2 3 Details
2012 - Tenn, W (Memphis) Case: 3 1 Details
2012 - Tenn, W (Memphis) Case: 3 2 Details
2012 - Ken, W (Louisville) Case: 4 1 Details
2012 - Maryland (Baltimore) Case: 5 1 Details
2012 - Miss, N (Oxford) Case: 6 1 Details
2012 - N Car, E (Raleigh) Case: 7 1 Details
2012 - N Car, M (Greensboro) Case: 8 1 Details
2012 - N Dakota (Fargo) Case: 9 1 Details
2012 - N Mexico (Albuquerque) Case: 10 1 Details
2012 - Tenn, E (Knoxville) Case: 11 1 Details
2012 - Tenn, W (Memphis) Case: 12 1 Details
2012 - Tenn, W (Memphis) Case: 13 1 Details
2012 - Texas, N (Fort Worth) Case: 14 1 Details
2012 - Texas, N (Fort Worth) Case: 15 1 Details
2012 - Wash, W (Seattle) Case: 16 1 Details
Table 2: Number of defendants per case

Report Generated: February 20, 2013
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