Trials are rare in the federal criminal justice system – and acquittals are even rarer.
Nearly 80,000 people were defendants in federal criminal cases in fiscal 2018, but just 2% of them went to trial. The overwhelming majority (90%) pleaded guilty instead, while the remaining 8% had their cases dismissed, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data collected by the federal judiciary.
Most defendants who did go to trial, meanwhile, were found guilty, either by a jury or judge. (Defendants can waive their right to a jury trial if they wish.)
Put another way, only 320 of 79,704 total federal defendants – fewer than 1% – went to trial and won their cases, at least in the form of an acquittal, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. These statistics include all defendants charged in U.S. district courts with felonies and serious misdemeanors, as well as some defendants charged with petty offenses. They do not include federal defendants whose cases were handled by magistrate judges, or the much broader universe of defendants in state courts. Defendants who enter pleas of “no contest” are also excluded.
From the early stages of his campaign for the White House, U.S. President Donald Trump has referred to China as “an economic enemy” of the United States and even declared, “I win against China.” But when it comes to public opinion around the globe, positive views toward China don’t necessarily translate into negative views of the U.S. or vice versa, a Pew Research Center analysis shows.
Across 25 countries surveyed in 2018, at least a plurality of respondents in nine nations have favorable views of both the U.S. and China. For example, around half of adults in Kenya, the Philippines and Nigeria give positive marks to China and to the U.S. These nine countries include traditional American allies like Israel and the United Kingdom, as well as some of China’s neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region, including Indonesia and Australia.
People in six countries, including Germany, France and Canada, are more likely to hold concurrently negative views of both the U.S. and China.
Southern Baptists are the largest evangelical Protestant group in the United States. Descended from Baptists who settled in the American colonies in the 17th century, Southern Baptists formed their own denomination in 1845, following a rift with their northern counterparts over slavery.
Ahead of the convention’s annual meeting, this year set for June 11 and 12 in Birmingham, Alabama, here are seven facts about Southern Baptists:
1The Southern Baptist Convention is the biggest Protestant denomination in the United States, accounting for 5.3% of the U.S. adult population, according to Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study. America’s second-largest Protestant group, the mainline United Methodist Church, accounts for 3.6% of U.S. adults. Southern Baptists make up about a fifth of all U.S. evangelical Protestants (21%).
While most Americans are concerned about the negative impact made-up news and information has on the country, Republicans and Democrats are particularly divided on how closely they connect it to the news media or to President Trump, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Feb. 19 to March 4, 2019.
The survey asked Americans to share what first comes to mind when they think about made-up news and information. The first two distinct answers given by each respondent were included in the analysis. An analysis of specific news outlets was also conducted by tallying the first three news outlets, if any, that were named in either answer.
Reflecting the general concern people have about this issue, one-in-five U.S. adults respond with a negative feeling, saying made-up news is “wrong,” “unethical” or “bad for democracy.” About the same share (18%) mention the news media, either generally as a source of made-up news (10%), or by calling out a specific news outlet (8%), with 4% naming Fox News, 3% CNN, and no more than 1% naming any other specific outlet:
The recent passage of several highly restrictive abortion bills in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri has led to increased speculation about the future of abortion access in the United States. When asked about the future of abortion last December – before these states acted – about three-in-four Americans said that, in 2050, abortion will either be legal but with some restrictions (55%) or legal with no restrictions (22%), a Pew Research Center survey found.
About one-in-five said abortion will be illegal 30 years from now, with 16% saying it will be illegal except in certain cases and 5% saying it will be illegal with no exceptions.
Some of the sponsors of the state anti-abortion measures see them as potential test cases that could bring the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court and lead to a reconsideration of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion decision.
Recently arrived U.S. immigrants are a growing part of the nation’s foreign-born population, which reached a record 44.4 million in 2017. Overall, their profile differs from immigrants who have been in the country longer.
About 7.6 million immigrants have lived in the country for five years or less. They make up 17% of the foreign-born population, a share that has returned to 2010 levels after a slight dip. Recently arrived immigrants have markedly different education, income and other characteristics from those who have been in the U.S. for more than a decade. Proposed changes to U.S. immigration laws could favor highly skilled immigrants, which could further change the demographics of the nation’s foreign-born population. U.S. adults support encouraging highly skilled people to immigrate and work in the U.S., according to a 2018 survey from Pew Research Center.
Across 27 nations surveyed by Pew Research Center in 2018, people were more dissatisfied than satisfied with the way democracy is working in their country. This held especially true in a dozen countries where negative views of democracy outpaced positive by more than 10 percentage points.
The 12 countries most dissatisfied with their democracy included four – Mexico, Greece, Brazil and Spain – where eight-in-ten or more were dissatisfied with the state of democracy, and another five where six-in-ten or more expressed dissatisfaction: Tunisia, Italy, South Africa, Argentina and Nigeria. The United States was close behind, with 58% expressing unhappiness with the way democracy is functioning.
People’s views of their country’s economy were strongly linked to their views of democracy. In nine of the 12 countries most dissatisfied with democracy, at least two-thirds of those who said their country’s current economic situation is bad also were dissatisfied with democracy. (In the remaining three – Greece, Tunisia and Brazil – so few people said the economy is good that the relationship between views of the economy and of democracy could not be analyzed. In these countries, 90% or more of the public was unhappy with the economy.)
Attitudes toward elected officials also often aligned with the degree to which people were satisfied or dissatisfied with democracy. In the 12 most dissatisfied countries, majorities said the statement “elected officials care what ordinary people think” does not describe elected officials well – a view especially common in Greece (90%), Argentina (79%), Spain (79%) and Brazil (78%). In the U.S., 58% described their country as one in which elected officials do not care about the people.
This is one in a series of postsabout how different demographic groups in the U.S. have fared in the digital age.
Rural Americans have made large gains in adopting digital technology over the past decade, but they generally remain less likely than urban or suburban adults to have home broadband or own a smartphone.
Roughly two-thirds of rural Americans (63%) say they have a broadband internet connection at home, up from about a third (35%) in 2007, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in early 2019. Rural Americans are now 12 percentage points less likely than Americans overall to have home broadband; in 2007, there was a 16-point gap between rural Americans (35%) and all U.S. adults (51%) on this question.
As is true for the nation as a whole, mobile technology use among rural adults has also risen rapidly, with the share of those owning smartphones and tablets increasing sharply since 2011. Ownership of desktop or laptop computers, by contrast, has only slightly risen since 2008.
The gap between rural and urban adults has narrowed for some devices like traditional and tablet computers, but rural adults still remain less likely than suburban adults to own these technologies.
More than 18 years after the Netherlands became the world’s first country to allow same-sex marriage, Austria became the latest European nation to legalize the practice. The change in Austria’s marriage laws on Jan. 1, 2019, was prompted by its highest court, which in 2017 ruled that the country was discriminating against gay and lesbian couples by not allowing them full marriage rights.
Austria is the 17th European jurisdiction to legalize gay marriage. This number counts England and Wales together and Scotland as a separate entity, since those parts of the United Kingdom passed two separate pieces of legislation on same-sex marriage. Northern Ireland, the other UK constituent state, has not legalized such marriages.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.