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March 7, 2007

The latest USSC Booker data

I am very pleased to see a new quarterly update with the latest, greatest post-Booker sentencing data available at this link over at the US Sentencing Commission's Booker webpage.  Here's how the USSC describes this data:

Quarterly Sentencing Update (Published March 7, 2007): An extensive set of tables and charts presenting cumulative quarterly data on cases sentenced in fiscal year 2007. The numbers are prepared using data sentenced by close-of-business on December 31, 2006 and received, coded, and edited by the Commission by February 27, 2007.

I am about to head into a faculty meeting, and this data report makes for great multi-tasking materials.  I'll update this post later if any really suprising numbers jump out of this new data snapshot.

UPDATE:  Based on Figure C in this report, it appears that average sentences after Booker continue to rise, and may have experienced a (statistically significat?) up-tick from October 1 to December 31 2006.  Also, the circuit-by-circuit variations in prosecutor-inititated and judge-initiated below-range sentences are quite intriguing.

March 7, 2007 at 03:29 PM | Permalink


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It doesn't surprise me to hear that average sentences continue to rise after Booker. Below guideline variances are all-too-often reversed on account of the district court not giving enough weight to the "avoid unwarranted disparity" factor, while upward variances are upheld on account of the court having discretion and considering 3553(a).

Put simply, the judicial culture encourages adherence to the guideline range, but if any variance is going to be tolerated, it will only be upward variances. Naturally, then, average sentences will increase.

Posted by: DEJ | Mar 7, 2007 6:22:32 PM

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