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November 26, 2004

Be careful what you ask for

Both in posts and in my USSC testmony earlier this month, I asked the US Sentencing Commission to make public ASAP any and all data and anaysis it has concerning both the pre-Blakely and post-Blakely world of federal sentencing.  I guess I should be careful what I ask for, since now I am swimming in USSC data and analysis.

As previously discussed here and here and here, the USSC earlier this week released its impressive (and massive) 15-year study.  The study — which every member of Congress should be forced to read cover-to-cover before passing any new sentencing legislation — is wonderfully rich with pre-Blakely federal sentencing data and analysis (indeed, far more data and analysis than my feeble brain can completely process). 

Moreover, now avaialble for public access here are two USSC comprehensive data tables, which provide a glimpse into how many federal cases in Fiscal Year 2002 involved "Blakely factors."  The first table, entitled Use of Guidelines and Specific Offense Characteristics, details the use of each guideline, alternative base offense level, and Specific Offense Characteristic.  The second, entitled Chapter Three Adjustments, Use of Specific Offense Characteristics, Upward Departures and Trial Rates, gives the number and percentage of cases involving the use of the pertinent guidelines sections.   (I am having some trouble with the links, but they are sometimes operational.)  Though hard to process in this form, I am assuming that this data is the foundation for the memo discussed and linked in this post.

November 26, 2004 at 01:02 PM | Permalink


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