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August 14, 2012

New USSC report provides data on federal sentencing realities

The US Sentencing Commission recently published this interesting and effective little document titled simply "Overview of Federal Criminal Cases, Fiscal Year 2010." Here are one of many passages that should interest federal sentencing data junkies:

Until fiscal year 2009, drug offenses had been the most common federal crime during the 20 years for which the Commission has released sentencing data.  In fiscal year 2010, 25,043 offenders were convicted of a drug crime, the majority involving the manufacture, sale, or transportation of a drug.  Of these, 1,025 offenders were convicted of an offense involving simple possession of a drug.

Offenses involving cocaine, in either powder form or base (crack) form, were the most common drug crimes, accounting for 43.6 percent of the offenders sentenced under the Chapter Two drug guidelines.  These cases were almost evenly split between offenses involving crack cocaine (20.1%) and offenses involving powder cocaine (23.5%).

Marijuana cases were the next most common, representing 26.0 percent of all drug crimes.  In fact, marijuana cases were more prevalent than either crack cocaine or powder cocaine cases.  Drug offenses involving methamphetamine represented 17.7 percent of all drug crimes.  Heroin cases were the least common of the major drug offenses, accounting for 6.7 percent of all drug crimes.

August 14, 2012 at 05:01 PM | Permalink


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