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March 15, 2006

The federal litigation shock of Blakely and Booker

With thanks to How Appealing, I see that the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has issued this news release which documents some of the impact of Blakely and Booker on the workload of the federal courts.  Here are some criminal law filing details from the release:

Criminal appeals jumped 28 percent in FY 2005 to 16,060, with growth in cases related to nearly all types of crimes.  The most significant increases were in appeals related to drug offenses (up 31 percent to 6,099); immigration (up 55 percent to 2,896); firearms and explosives (up 23 percent to 2,505); and property (up 15 percent to 1,967)....

Original proceedings [in circuit courts] climbed 23 percent to 5,017 as state and federal prisoners filed 3,617 second or successive motions for permission to file habeas corpus petitions (up 42 percent) following the Supreme Court's decisions in Blakely v. Washington and U.S. v. Booker....

The new release also has some interesting data in changes in the case mix of criminal filings in the federal district courts:

Nationwide, criminal filings in the U.S. district courts fell 2 percent to 69,575 in FY 2005, and the number of defendants in these cases dropped 1 percent to 92,226.  Despite the overall decline, increases occurred in cases involving drugs other than marijuana, sex offenses, and immigration offenses.

March 15, 2006 at 12:24 AM | Permalink


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