Freeborn, Beth and Hartmann, Monica (2009): Judicial Discretion and Sentencing Behavior.
Download (200Kb) | Preview
This research studies the impact of changes to federal judicial discretion on criminal sentencing outcomes. The Feeney Amendment to the 2003 PROTECT Act restricted federal judges’ ability to impose sentences outside of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and required appellate courts to review downward departures. Using data on all federal sentences between 1999 and 2004, we examine the effect of the Feeney Amendment on the downward departures rate and prison sentence. We control for type of offense, district of sentencing, criminal history, and demographic characteristics of the offender, in order to isolate the changes in judicial sentencing due to the implementation of the Feeney Amendment. Our results suggest that the Feeney Amendment reduced the probability of a downward departure by 5% and increased prison sentences by two months. There is no evidence that judges adjust sentences in an effort to circumvent the intentions of the Feeney Amendment.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Judicial Discretion and Sentencing Behavior|
|Keywords:||Federal Sentencing Guidelines, criminal justice|
|Subjects:||K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K40 - General
K - Law and Economics > K1 - Basic Areas of Law > K14 - Criminal Law
|Depositing User:||Monica E. Hartmann|
|Date Deposited:||10. Mar 2009 05:41|
|Last Modified:||17. Feb 2013 10:26|
1. Anderson, James, Jeffrey Kling and Kate Stith (1999). “Measuring Inter-judge Sentencing Disparity: Before and After the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.” Journal of Law and Economics, 42(S1): 271-307.
2. Bjerk, David (2005). “Making The Crime Fit the Penalty: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion Under Mandatory Minimum Sentencing.” Journal of Law and Economics, 48(2): 591-625.
3. Berman, Douglas A. (2003). “Taking Stock of the Feeney Amendment’s Many Facets.” Federal Sentencing Reporter, 16(2): 93-97.
4. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics Program. "Defendants sentenced under the guidelines during fiscal year 1999-2005." Washington D.C. : The Urban Institute (distributor).
5. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics Program. 'Linking Data file (1994 - 2005): LINK.' Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute (distributor).
6. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics Program. "Defendants in Federal criminal cases terminated in U.S. District Court during fiscal year 1998-2005.” Washington D.C. : The Urban Institute (distributor).
7. Bushway, Shawn D and Anne Morrison Piehl (2001). “Judging Judicial Discretion: Legal Factors and Racial Discrimination in Sentencing.” Law and Society Review, 35(4): 733-764.
8. Campbell and Bemporad (2004). “An Introduction to Federal Guideline Sentencing,” Eighth Edition for the Federal Public and Community Defenders. Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Washington D.C. http://www.dcfpd.org/sentencing/INTRO8.pdf
9. Etienne, Margareth (2003). “Acceptance of Responsibility and Plea Bargaining Under the Feeney Amendment.” Federal Sentencing Reporter, 16(2): 109-113.
10. Glaeser, Edward L. and Bruce Sacerdote (2003). “Sentencing in Homicide Cases and the Roleof Vengeance.” Journal of Legal Studies, 23(2): 363-382.
11. Hofer, Paul J., Kevin R. Blackwell, and R. Barry Ruback (1999). “The Effect of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines on Inter-judge Sentencing Disparity.” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 90(1): 239-322.
12. Hofer, Paul (2007). “United States v. Booker as a Natural Experiment: Using Empirical Research To Inform the Federal Sentencing Policy Debate.” Criminology and Public Policy, 6(3): 433-460.
13. Hughes, Kristen (2007). Justice Expenditure and Employment Extracts 2005, NCJ 219370. Criminal Justice Expenditure and Employment Extracts Program (CJEE). Available online: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/eande.htm#selected, file: cjee0501.csv
14. LaCasse, Chantale and Abigail Payne (1999). “Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Do Defendants Bargain in the Shadow of the Judge?” Journal of Law and Economics, 42(1, Part 2): 245-270.
15. Payne, Abigail (1997). “Does Inter-judge Disparity Really Matter? An Analysis of the Effects of Sentencing Reforms in Three Federal District Courts.” International Review of Law and Economics, 17(3): 337-366.
16. Mustard, David B. (2001). “Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Courts.” Journal of Law and Economics, 44(1): 285-314.
17. Schanzenbach, Max (2005a). “Racial and Sex Disparities in Prison Sentences: The Effect of District-Level Judicial Demographics.” Journal of Legal Studies, 34(1): 57-92.
18. Schanzenbach, Max (2005b). “Have Federal Judges Changed Their Sentencing Practices? The Shaky Empirical Foundations of the Feeney Amendment.” Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 2(1): 1–48.
19. Schanzenbach, Max and Emerson Tiller (2006). “Strategic Judging Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines: Positive Political Theory and Evidence.” The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 23(1): 23-56.
20. Stith, Kate and Jose A. Cabranes (1998). Fear of Judging: Sentencing Guidelines in the Federal Courts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
21. Tiede, Lydia Brashear (2008). The Swinging Pendulum of Sentencing Reform: Political Actors Regulating Lower Court Discretion. Working Paper.
22. United States Sentencing Commission (2004). 2004 Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
23. United States Sentencing Commission (2001). Sentencing Guidelines Training Manual http://www.ussc.gov/training/sent_ex_rob.pdf
24. Weinstein, Ian (2003). “Fifteen Years After the Federal Sentencing Revolution: How Mandatory Minimums Have Undermined Effective and Just Narcotics Sentencing.” American Criminal Law Review, 40, 87-132.