Report to the Congress
on
DOWNWARD DEPARTURES FROM THE FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES

(October 27, 2003)

Full Report on Downward Departures (Available in Adobe .PDF)

or

Individual Chapters Listed Below downloadable in Adoble PDF Format

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Chapter 1 - INTRODUCTION

Chapter 2 SENTENCING DATA COLLECTION

 

A.

Sentencing Documentation Submission

 

B.

Departure Information Contained in Statement of Reasons

 

C.

PROTECT Act Remedies

Chapter 3 - ANALYSIS OF COMMISSION SENTENCING DATA

 

A.

Trends in Downward Departures

 

 

1.

Judicial Districts

 

 

2.

Offense Type

 

 

3.

Citizenship

 

 

4.

Downward Departure Reasons

 

B.

Analysis of Downward Departure Reasons

 

 

1.

Fast Track

 

 

2.

Deportation

 

 

3.

General Mitigating Circumstances (§5K2.0)

 

 

4.

Pursuant to Plea Agreement

 

 

5.

Criminal History (§4A1.3)

 

 

6.

Aberrant Behavior (§5K2.20)

 

 

7.

Family Ties and Responsibilities (§5H1.6)

 

 

8.

Diminished Capacity (§5K2.13)

 

 

9.

Chapter Two Departures

Chapter 4 - CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE INCREASING RATE OF CASES SENTENCED BELOW THE GUIDELINE RANGE

 

A.

Appellate Review of Sentences

 

 

1.

Impact of Koon v. United States

 

 

2.

PROTECT Act Remedies

 

 

3.

Greater Emphasis on Appeals by the Department of Justice

 

B.

Role of the Government at Sentencing.

 

 

1.

Government Initiated Downward Departures

 

 

2.

PROTECT Act Remedy

 

C.

Early Disposition or Fast Track Programs

 

 

1.

Impact of Increasing Immigration Offense Caseload

 

 

2.

Extent of Fast Track Programs

 

 

3.

Early Disposition Programs Pursuant to the PROTECT Act

 

D.

Assessing Downward Departures in a Broader Context

Chapter 5 - COMMISSION ACTIONS TO REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF DOWNWARD DEPARTURES

 

A.

Recent Commission Actions Prior to Enactment of the PROTECT Act

 

B.

Implementation of the PROTECT Act within 180 Days of Enactment

 

 

1.

General Features of the Emergency Amendment

 

 

2.

Revisions to §5K2.0 (Grounds for Departure)

 

 

3.

Revisions to Chapter Five, Part H (Specific Offense Characteristics)

 

 

4.

Revisions to Chapter Five, Part K (Departures)

 

 

5.

Revisions to Chapter Four (Criminal History)

 

 

6.

Revisions to Chapter Six (Sentencing Procedures and Plea Agreements)

 

 

7.

Revisions to Chapter One (Introduction and General Application Principles)

 

 

8.

Creation of §5K3.1 ( Early Disposition Programs)

 

C.

Commission Actions to Reduce Incidence of Departures Beyond 180 Day Time Frame of the PROTECT Act

APPENDIX - A. Commission Emergency Amendment Effective October 27, 2003

APPENDIX - B. Legislative History

APPENDIX - C. Data Sources and Methodology