|2013 jury trial verdicts show continued decline; some counties had no jury trials for the year|
A release by the State Court Administrator’s Office early this year showing the number of jury trials in the state from 1994-2013 demonstrates a continuing decline in these trials. Another release from the court administrator’s office provides a look at 2013 jury trials by county.
Trials that resulted in a jury verdict entered totaled 799 for 2013. That compares with 842 the previous year, and 848 the year before that.
Present-day figures are significantly lower than the mid-1990s when total jury trials were in the 1,400s. A 2009 change in the definition of "jury trial” from "any disposed case in which a jury had been selected (even if the case settled or a defendant pleaded guilty before a witness was sworn in)” to "only cases with a jury verdict entered” may account for some of the decline.
A table and graph demonstrating the overall trend, plus a breakdown of cases by civil, indictable criminal and simple misdemeanor can be found here.
The breakdown of jury trials by county for 2013, which can be found by clicking on this link, shows that 14 counties did not have any jury trials during the year. Polk County had the most with 90 criminal and 48 civil jury trials. Black Hawk County was second with 49 and three, and Scott County was third with 61 and 12, respectively.