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March 9, 2005

Ask and ye shall receive ... Booker data

In this post yesterday, I noted my eagerness for post-Booker data.  Thanks to the kind folks at the US Sentencing Commission, I now have (and can share for downloading below) the USSC's "last complete data cut" which was prepared on February 28 and reflects all post-Booker cases received by the USSC as of February 17.  (These materials are also now posted on the USSC's Booker/Fanfan page.)

These data reports cover 2,056 total cases, though in the USSC's analysis 70 cases had to be excluded due to incomplete or missing information. Thus, for the five weeks post-Booker, we have nearly 2000 cases to chew on (which is, of course, only one-third of what would have moved through the system if it were operating at a pre-Booker pace of 1,200 cases/week).   The data is fascinating and the memos below are so clear (and brief) that I will let them speak for themselves.  Importantly, USSC folks indicated that the "next data cut" will be likely taken around the end of this month.

Download ussc_booker_data_memo_022805.pdf

Download ussc_fy02_and_postbooker_district_counts_030105.pdf

March 9, 2005 at 11:32 AM | Permalink


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Without examining the cases, it appears from the memo that Booker might actually be working... the number of sentences within the Guideline range has stayed relatively constant, and there are a few more sentences above the Guideline range-- an optimist would say that federal judges are taking the presumptive sentences offered by the Commission (and by Congress), tayloring them to individual defendants, and doing justice. I'm sure there are some pessimists around, too, but
Always look on the bright side of life (even if you're being crucified)!

Posted by: District Clerk Battling Blakely | Mar 9, 2005 2:09:59 PM

I attended a CLE sponsored by the Federal Bar Council last evening at which these statistics were discussed. It bears noting (as you have) that they do not account for all of the post-Booker sentencing decisions. But, perhaps more importantly, it bears noting that the statistics are slightly skewed in that there are several districts (including the SDNY) that have no sentencing decisions included in the presented statistics. It is therefore important to review not only the totality of the data for large trends but also to note the specific district/circuits that are reporting and the reputation/history of such district/circuit.

Posted by: NY Lawyer | Mar 11, 2005 4:06:24 PM

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