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September 14, 2004

Calling all data junkies!!

The more I think about issues like severability and retroactivity, the more I realize a lot of my thinking (and perhaps also the thinking of courts and litigants) is influenced by perceptions or suppositions about the number of cases possibly impacted by different sorts of rulings. To its credit, the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission gave us some real (though perhaps shaded) numbers about how many cases Blakely would likely impact in that state (see Ron's post here), but I have not seen anything comparable from the federal sentencing commission or other state entities. And, of course, I have not seen any effort to run the Blakely "retroactivity" numbers in any single jurisdiction or across all jurisdictions.

Of course, the US Sentencing Commission has terrific general data on its website concerning various guideline related matters. For example, here is a chart of the number of federal offenders of various offense types in the federal system in recent years, here is a chart of guilty pleas and trial rates, and here is a chart of federal offenders receiving different sentencing options in each primary offense category, and here is a chart of the position within the guideline range for offenders in each primary offense category.

I am not quite sure if and how any of this data can or should directly or indirectly impact arguments about Blakely's applicability to the federal guidelines or issues of severability. But I am sure that I would like to here from any and all data junkies out there who have been looking at real numbers while I have been focused on matters of policy and doctrine.

September 14, 2004 at 05:39 PM | Permalink


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