U. S. Sentencing Commission's 1996 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics

Introduction

This is the inaugural edition of the United States Sentencing Commission's Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics. This Sourcebook contains descriptive statistics on the application of the federal sentencing guidelines and provides selected district, circuit, and national sentencing data. The volume covers fiscal year 1996 (October 1, 1995, through September 30, 1996, hereinafter "1996"), and presents various trend analyses.

The Commission collects and analyzes data on guideline sentences to support its varied activities. As authorized by Congress, the Commission's numerous research responsibilities include: (1) the establishment of a research and development program to serve as a clearinghouse and information center for the collection, preparation and dissemination of information on federal sentencing practices; (2) the publication of data concerning the sentencing process; (3) the systematic collection and dissemination of information concerning sentences actually imposed and the relationship of such sentences to the factors set forth in section 3553(a) of title 18, United States Code; and (4) the systematic collection and dissemination of information regarding the effectiveness of sentences imposed (28 U.S.C. § 995(a)).

The Sentencing Commission maintains a comprehensive, computerized data collection system which forms the basis for its clearinghouse of federal sentencing information and which, in large part, drives the agency's research mission. Pursuant to its authority under 28 U.S.C.§§ 994(w) and 995(a)(8), and after discussions with the Judicial Conference Committee on Criminal Law and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the Commission requested that each probation office in each judicial district submit the following documents on every defendant sentenced under the guidelines:

Indictment

Presentence Report (PSR)

Report on the Sentencing Hearing (statement of reasons for imposing sentence as required by 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c))

Written Plea Agreement (if applicable)

Judgment of Conviction

Data from these documents are extracted and coded for input into various databases. It should be noted that data collection is a dynamic rather than a static process. When research questions arise, the Commission either analyzes existing data or adds information to its monitoring system.

For each case in its Monitoring Dataset, the Commission routinely collects case identifiers, sentencing data, demographic variables, statutory information, the complete range of court guideline decisions, and departure information. Throughout 1996, the Commission continued to add data elements to its extensive computerized datafile on defendants sentenced under the guidelines.

The Commission also maintains additional datasets to study a variety of sentencing-related issues. The Organizational Dataset captures information on organizations sentenced under Chapter Eight of the guidelines. The data collected describe organizational structure, size, and economic viability; offense of conviction; mode of adjudication; sanctions imposed; and application of the sentencing guidelines. The Appeals Dataset tracks appellate review of sentencing decisions. Information captured in this module includes district, circuit, dates of appeal and opinion, legal issues, and the court's disposition. In addition to its standard data collection, the Commission often codes additional variables to study various discrete issues (e.g., immigration offenses, child sex offenses).

The Commission's 1996 Monitoring Dataset contains documentation on 42,436 cases sentenced under the Sentencing Reform Act between October 1, 1995, and September 30, 1996. A "case" is defined as one sentencing event for an individual defendant. In addition, the Commission received information on 157 organizations that were sentenced under Chapter Eight of the sentencing guidelines in 1996.

The Commission also tracks final opinions and orders, both published and unpublished, in federal criminal appeals. During 1996, the Commission supplemented these opinions and orders with cases available on computerized legal databases and with habeas corpus decisions (although technically civil matters) because such cases often involve sentencing issues. In 1996, the Commission gathered information on 6,710 appellate court cases of which 2,448 were "conviction only" cases.

The appeals data system uses both the "group" and the "defendant" units of analysis. Each group comprises individual records representing all codefendants participating in a consolidated appeal. Each defendant's record comprises the sentencing-related issues corresponding to that particular defendant. These records, linked together by a unique Commission-assigned appeals identification number, constitute a single group.

The Commission's computerized datasets, without individual identifiers, are available via tape and the Internet through the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan (ICPSR). The Consortium can be contacted using the following Internet address: http://www.ICPSR.umich.edu. For more information, contact Dr. Christopher S. Dunn, ICPSR, P.O. Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 or call 1-800-999-0960 or (313) 763-5011.

Summary

The volume covers fiscal year 1996 (October 1, 1995, through September 30, 1996, hereinafter "1996"), and presents various trend analyses.

Tables and Figures

Circuit and District Statistics
Table 1 (page 1)
Document Submission Rate By Circuit And District
Table 2 (page 4)
Guideline Defendants By Circuit And District

Primary Offense and Offender Characteristics
Figure A (page 6)
Distribution Of Sentenced Guideline Defendants By Primary Offense Category
Table 3 (page 7)
Distribution Of Sentenced Guideline Defendants By Primary Offense Category
Figure B (page 8)
Number Of Guideline Cases By Selected Offense Types And Year
Table 4 (page 9)
Race Of Defendant By Primary Offense Category
Table 5 (page 10)
Gender Of Defendant By Primary Offense Category
Table 6 (page 11)
Age Of Defendant By Primary Offense Category
Table 7 (page 12)
Age Race And Gender Of Defendants
Table 8 (page 13)
Education Of Defendant By Primary Offense Category
Table 9 (page 14)
Citizenship Status Of Defendant By Primary Offense Category
Figure C (page 15)
Mode Of Conviction By Sentencing Year
Table 10 (page 16)
Mode Of Conviction By Circuit And District
Table 11 (page 19)
Mode Of Conviction By Primary Offense Category

Sentencing Information
Figure D (page 20)
Type Of Guideline Sentence Imposed
Table 12 (page 21)
Type Of Sentence Imposed By Primary Offense Category
Table 13 (page 22)
Average Sentence Length By Primary Offense Category
Figure E (page 23)
Average Length Of Imprisonment By Grouped Primary Offense Categories And Year
Table 14 (page 24)
Average Length Of Imprisonment By Primary Offense And Criminal History Categories
Table 15 (page 26)
Fines And Restitution By Primary Offense Category
Table 16 (page 27)
Sentencing Zone By Type Of Sentence Imposed
Figure F (page 28)
Imprisonment Rates Of Defendants Eligible For Non-Prison Sentences By Select Primary Offense Type

Guideline Application
Table 17 (page 29)
Chapter Two Guideline Applied
Table 18 (page 31)
Chapter Three Guideline Application Information
Table 19 (page 33)
Acceptance Of Responsibility Reduction By Primary Offense Category
Table 20 (page 34)
Chapter Four Guideline Application Information
Table 21 (page 36)
Offense Level By Criminal History Category
Table 22 (page 37)
Career Offender Armed Career Criminal Adjustments By Primary Offense Category
Table 23 (page 38)
Guideline Sentencing Range

Departures and Sentences Within the Guideline Range
Figure G (page 39)
Type Of Departure By Sentencing Year
Table 24 (page 40)
Reasons Given By Sentencing Courts For Upward Departures
Table 25 (page 40)
Reasons Given By Sentencing Courts For Downward Departures
Table 26 (page 41)
Guideline Departure Rate By Circuit And District
Table 27 (page 44)
Position Of Sentence Relative to Guideline Range By Primary Offense Category

Drug Cases
Figure H (page 45)
Distribution Of Drug Guideline Offenses
Table 28 (page 46)
Guideline Of Drug Defendants By Drug Type
Table 29 (page 47)
Race Of Drug Defendant By Drug Type
Table 30 (page 48)
Gender Of Drug Defendant By Drug Type
Table 31 (page 48)
Citizenship Of Drug Defendant By Drug Type
Table 32 (page 49)
Criminal History Category Of Drug Defendant By Drug Type
Table 33 (page 50)
Mode Of Conviction Of Drug Defendant By Drug Type
Table 34 (page 50)
Weapon Involvement Of Drug Defendant By Drug Type
Table 35 (page 51)
Role Adjustment Of Drug Defendant By Drug Type
Table 36 (page 51)
Acceptance Of Responsibility Of Drug Defendant By Drug Type
Table 37 (page 52)
Mean And Median Drug Amounts (In Grams) Of Drug Trafficking Defendants By Base Offense Level And Drug Type
Table 38 (page 53)
Drug Mandatory Minimum Status Of Drug Defendants By Drug Type
Table 39 (page 54)
Safety Valve And Drug Mandatory Minimum Status Of Drug Defendants By Drug Type
Table 40 (page 55)
Departure Status Of Drug Defendants By Drug Type
Figure I (page 56)
Average Length of Imprisonment by Drug Type
Figure J (page 57)
Number Of Drug Defendants By Drug Type And Year
Figure K (page 58)
Race By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants
Figure L (page 58)
Gender By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants
Figure M (page 59)
Citizenship Status By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants
Figure N (page 59)
Criminal History Status By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants
Figure O (page 60)
Mode Of Conviction By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants
Figure P (page 60)
Base Offense Level By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants
Figure Q (page 61)
Weapon Status By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants
Figure R (page 61)
Role By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants
Figure S (page 62)
Acceptance Of Responsibility By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants
Figure T (page 62)
Departure Status By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants
Figure U (page 63)
Prison Sentence Imposed By Drug Type And Year For Drug Defendants

Immigration Cases
Table 41 (page 64)
Demographic And Offense Information By Immigration Guideline
Table 42 (page 65)
Age Of Defendants By Immigration Guideline
Table 43 (page 66)
Citizenship Status Of Defendants By Immigration Guideline
Table 44 (page 67)
Criminal History Category By Immigration Guideline And Citizenship Status
Table 45 (page 68)
Sentence Imposed And Departure Status Of Defendant By Immigration Guideline

Organizational Sentencing Practices
Table 46 (page 69)
Fine And Restitution Imposed By Primary Offense Category On Sentenced Organizations
Table 47 (page 70)
Organizations Sentenced Under Chapter Eight Culpability Factors

Sentencing Appeals
Table 48 (page 71)
Type of Appeal By Circuit and District
Figure V (page 74)
Type And Disposition Of Appeals Cases
Table 49 (page 75)
Sentencing Appeals Case Disposition By Circuit And District
Table 50 (page 78)
Guideline Involved In Issues Appealed By Defendants
Table 51 (page 79)
Guideline Involved In Issues Appealed By the Government
Table 52 (page 80)
Sentencing Issues Appealed For Select Guidelines
Table 53 (page 82)
Select Offense And Offender Characteristics For Appeals Defendants
Table 54 (page 83)
Average Length Of Imprisonment For Appeals Defendants By Primary Offense Category

Appendix A
Descriptions of Datafiles Variables and Footnotes

Appendix B
National
Alaska
Alabama Middle
Alabama Northern
Alabama Southern
Arkansas Eastern
Arkansas Western
Arizona
California Central
California Eastern
California Northern
California Southern
Colorado
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Delaware
Florida Middle
Florida Northern
Florida Southern
Georgia Middle
Georgia Northern
Georgia Southern
Guam
Hawaii
Iowa Northern
Iowa Southern
Idaho
Illinois Central
Illinois Northern
Illinois Southern
Indiana Northern
Indiana Southern
Kansas
Kentucky Eastern
Kentucky Western
Louisiana Eastern
Louisiana Middle
Louisiana Western
Massachusetts
Maryland
Maine
Michigan Eastern
Michigan Western
Minnesota
Missouri Eastern
Missouri Western
Mississippi Northern
Mississippi Southern
Montana
North Carolina Eastern
North Carolina Middle
North Carolina Western
North Dakota
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
Northern Mariana Islands
Nevada
New York Eastern
New York Northern
New York Southern
New York Western
Ohio Northern
Ohio Southern
Oklahoma Eastern
Oklahoma Northern
Oklahoma Western
Oregon
Pennsylvania Eastern
Pennsylvania Middle
Pennsylvania Western
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee Eastern
Tennessee Middle
Tennessee Western
Texas Eastern
Texas Northern
Texas Southern
Texas Western
Utah
Virginia Eastern
Virginia Western
Virgin Islands
Vermont
Washington Eastern
Washington Western
Wisconsin Eastern
Wisconsin Western
West Virginia Northern
West Virginia Southern
Wyoming