Conviction rate

The conviction rate of a prosecutor or government is the number of convictions divided by the number of criminal cases brought.


In Canada, the national conviction rate is about 97%. This does not include cases in which the charges are dropped, which comprise about one-third of criminal cases. Absent Quebec, the province with the lowest conviction rate, the figure is 99%.[1]


In China, the justice system has a conviction rate of 99.9%.[2] The rate varies depending on the region.[3]


The national conviction rate in India for offences of the Indian Penal Code is around 46%. This tends to vary state by state. The state with the highest conviction rate is Kerala, at about 84%, while the one with the lowest rate is Bihar, at around 10%.[4][5]

Throughout 2016, national conviction rate of Indian Penal Code crimes are 46.8%, with 596,078 convicted and 678,270 acquitted/discharged, and also 1,060,724 Convicted under SLL crimes and 226,546 Acquitted or discharged, make conviction rate 82.4% under SLL crimes, making a combined conviction rate 64.67% in India during 2016 [6]


The conviction rate in Israel is around 93%. Around 71.5% of trials end with a conviction on some charges and acquittal on others, while around 21.6% end with a conviction on all charges. This does not include plea bargains and cases where the charges are withdrawn, which make up the vast majority of criminal cases.[7]


In Japan, the criminal justice system has a conviction rate that exceeds 99%, including guilty plea cases.[8] This has been attributed to low prosecutorial budgets impelling understaffed prosecutors to bring only the most obviously guilty defendants to trial.[9]


In 2017 there was 697054 convictions and 1562 acquittals in Russia resulting in the conviction rate of 99.78%.[10]

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has three prosecuting bodies that cover different geographic areas. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service for Scotland. In Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland (PPSNI) and in England and Wales most prosecutions are brought by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The latests figures for 2017/18 in England and Wales show at Crown Court the conviction rate was 80.0% and at Magistrates Court the conviction rate was 84.8%.[11]

In Northern Ireland figures show at Crown Court the conviction rate for 2017/18 was 87.2% and at Magistrates Court it was 79.0%.[12]

United States

In the United States federal court system, the conviction rate rose from approximately 75 percent to approximately 85% between 1972 and 1992.[13] For 2012, the US Department of Justice reported a 93% conviction rate.[14] In 2000, the conviction rate was 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."[15] In 2018, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that among defendants charged with a felony, 68% were convicted (59% of a felony and the remainder of a misdemeanor) with felony conviction rates highest for defendants originally charged with motor vehicle theft (74%), driving-related offenses (73%), murder (70%), burglary (69%), and drug trafficking (67%); and lowest for defendants originally charged with assault (45%).[16]


  1. News; Canada (3 August 2010). "Just 3% of criminal cases end in aquittal: data - National Post". Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  2. McCoy, Terence (March 11, 2014). "China scored 99.9% Conviction Rate Last Year". The Washington Post.
  3. Connor, Neil (14 March 2016). "Chinese courts convict more than 99.9 per cent of defendants". Retrieved 4 February 2019 via
  4. "Kerala's conviction rate double national average". Deccan Chronicle. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  5. "Conviction rate up, Kerala tops with over 77% - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  6. Crime in India 2016 Statistics
  7. "Study: Only 0.3% of criminal cases end with acquittal". Ynetnews. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  8. Hideki Igeta (January 2001), Conviction Rate in the U.S. is 99%? (Amerika no yuzairitsu wa 99%?), 1044, Hanrei Taimuzu, pp. 54–59
  9. J. Mark Ramseyer and Eric B. Rasmusen (January 2001), Why Is the Japanese Conviction Rate so High?, 30, The Journal of Legal Studies, pp. 53–88
  10. "Данные судебной статистики". Судебный департамент при Верховном суде Российской Федерации. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  11. "CPS - Key Performance Measures 2017/18 Q1-3". CPS.
  12. "PPSNI - Statistical Bulletin" (PDF). PPSNI.
  13. Sara Sun Beale, Federalizing Crime: Assessing the Impact on the Federal Courts, 543, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
  14. "United States Attorneys' Annual Statistical Report for Fiscal Year 2012" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  15. Peter J. Coughlan (June 2000), In Defense of Unanimous Jury Verdicts: Mistrials, Communication, and Strategic Voting, 94, The American Political Science Review, pp. 375–393
  16. "What is the probability of conviction for felony defendants?". Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved May 15, 2019.

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