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April 13, 2005

Up-to-date post-Booker data from the USSC

As I had hoped, the USSC's hearing and meeting this week (background here) has led the US Sentencing Commission to update, and post on its Booker page, the USSC's latest collection of "post-Booker cases received, coded, and edited as part of the Commission's post-Booker project." 

The Commission latest numbers, which are based on data extracted at close-of-business on April 5, 2005, are available at this link. (Kudos yet again to the USSC for continuing to disseminate this data "in real time.")   Notably, this latest data run encompasses around 9,000 cases, and the USSC's memo provides basic case processing numbers broken down by primary offense categories and by circuit and district.

I hope to have some commentary on these latest numbers late tonight after I get a chance to review them in detail.  In the meantime, readers are invited to share their insights on the meaning of this latest data.

April 13, 2005 at 02:00 PM | Permalink

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I recall that at the last Commission meeting, several weeks ago, Commission staff presented what were then the latest numbers from districts reporting on post Booker sentencing. At that time, several large districts had not gotten their numbers in and the staff cautioned against drawing too many conclusions given their absence. It appears now that, with the exception of the SDNY, the larger districts have reported and that the within guideline numbers are roughly comparable to previous years. While we should continue to be cautious of generalizing, these numbers should reassure those in Congres who might believe sentencing needs to be fixed. Section 12 of the Sensenbrenner drug bill, the Booker fix section, makes little sense in light of this evidence and in light of the recency of the Booker opinion.

Jay Apperson, Mr. Sensenbrenner's counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, continued to insist in conversations yesterday, that Section 12 is not a "Booker fix" but assured us that he was working on a real "Booker fix." Something to look forward to.

And, lest we miss the point, Rep. Forbes (R-VA) who sponsored the gang bill which carries a raft of horrendous mandatory minimums, explained when he introduced the bill that they were made necessary by Booker. These new mandatory minimums are another form of Booker fix.

Posted by: Mary Price | Apr 13, 2005 11:14:50 PM

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