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April 25, 2011

Latest USSC federal sentencing data shows uptick in within-guideline sentences

I am pleased an intrigued to see that the US Sentencing Commission has some fresh new sentencing data now up on its website.  The USSC's latest data report, which can be accessed here, is described this way:

First Quarter FY11 Quarterly Sentencing Update: An extensive set of tables and charts presenting fiscal year quarterly data on cases in which the offender was sentenced during the first quarter of fiscal year 2011. (Published April 19, 2011)

The new data continue to show remarkable stability in the operation and application of the advisory federal guideline sentencing system: these data show, yet again, that around 55% of all federal sentences are within the calculated guidelines range, with prosecutors requesting a below-range sentence in over 25% of all cases.  Most notably, these latest numbers reveal a slight uptick in the total number of within-guideline sentences apparently as a result of a slight downtick in the number of judge-initiated below-guideline sentence.  

April 25, 2011 at 12:34 PM | Permalink


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"with prosecutors requesting a below-range sentence in over 25% of all cases."

Somewhere, there must be prosecutors recommending below-range sentences in lots of cases, because these are very rare where I am. I mean, really rare. I'd say I've gotten maybe three or four 5K motions out of several hundred cases in the last couple of years. In fact, with the exception of the rare 5K motion, I don't think I've ever seen a prosecutor actually recommend a below-guideline sentence. I'm sure it's happened, I just don't recall ever seeing it.

Posted by: C.A.J. | Apr 25, 2011 11:03:20 PM

Most of that 25% is in immigration cases pursuant to a fast track program -- or so I assume.

Posted by: Response | Apr 25, 2011 11:39:08 PM

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