Thinking About Sentencing Disparity

The luck of the draw in federal sentencing.

“In most cities, the length of a defendant’s sentence increasingly depends on which judge in the courthouse is assigned to his or her case,” concludes a new report that analyzed the sentencing practices of federal trial judges in 30 major cities.

Disparities in sentences are growing as judges move away from the “mandatory” requirements of sentencing guidelines. So if there is a luck of the draw in federal courthouses what about your courthouse?

Most people are not federal court defendants but are defendants in state (or Canadian) courts.

What steps should judges take to reduce disparity? It is not a question easily answered. Judges differ at an appellate level why should anyone expect something different at the trial court? Perhaps a starting point is data collection.

It it plausible that there is not as much difference in sentencing in your courthouse. But maybe there is…  see SENTENCING LAW AND POLICY for more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s