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May 20, 2008

Latest USSC data perhaps suggesting Gall effect

Providing a great companion to its new crack retroactivity data (reported here), the US Sentencing Commission has some new post-Gall sentencing data now up on its website.  The USSC's updated data report, which can be accessed here, is described this way:

May 2008 Preliminary Post-Kimbrough/Gall Data Report: A updated set of tables presenting preliminary data on fiscal year 2008 cases sentenced on or after December 10, 2008.  The numbers are prepared using data received, coded, and edited by the Commission by May 8, 2008.

Notably, the new data show that under 60% of all post-Gall sentences are now falling within the guidelines, though this fact is mostly a product of prosecutors now requesting a below-range sentence in over 25% of all cases. 

As regular readers know, there are many ways to interpret all this data and the overall stability of the federal sentencing system still is perhaps the most prominent story to be mined.  Still, one could reasonably assert that Gall has further contributed to a slow but steady migration away from guideline ranges, even though prosecutors and defense attorneys are wise to counsel defendants that most sentences will still come within the guidelines recommended ranges.

May 20, 2008 at 06:03 PM | Permalink

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