‘Tough’ Israeli Courts Have 86-Percent Conviction Rate

An empty court room. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Some 34,000 people went on trial in Israel in 2016, the last year for which numbers were available – and of those, 86 percent were convicted, or pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors. The numbers were revealed Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), in its annual report on the state of criminal justice in Israel.

Of those who went on trial, nearly a quarter were not Israeli residents – and many of them were residents of the Palestinian Authority. Among Israelis, the crime that was prosecuted most commonly was disturbing the public order; for PA Arabs, it was security crimes. For Israelis, the conviction rate was 82.3 percent – while for non-Israelis, it was 99.1 percent. Of those who were tried, about 2,800 were minors.

Of those who were tried, 92.5 percent were males; only 7.5 percent were females. That figure included adults and juveniles; among adults, males accounted for 92.2 percent of those tried, compared to 7.8 percent who were female; among youths, the percentages were 96.1 percent male, 3.9 percent female. More adults – 89 percent – were convicted than juveniles, who had a 54.7-percent conviction rate.

One positive piece of data in the report, the CBS said, was that fewer people were going to trial. In 2010, over 47,000 people were tried for crimes, and as recently as 2015, the figure was 41,500, the CBS said.

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