Civil Rights Prosecutions for December 2012
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.
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.
Table 2: Number of defendants per case
Report Generated: February 20, 2013
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