Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2252159
 


 



The Commission Defends an Ailing Hypothesis: Does Judicial Discretion Increase Demographic Disparity?


Paul Jeffrey Hofer


Sentencing Resource Counsel Project; Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

April 10, 2013

Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2013

Abstract:     
The U.S. Sentencing Commission has argued that increased judicial discretion, resulting from the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v Booker, has led to increased sentencing disparity, particularly against Black males. This paper shows that the Commission's own findings are not consistent with a pattern of increased disparity arising from increased discretion. Moreover, the Commission's statistical models do not measure the most important sources of demographic disparity: 1) pre-sentencing charging and plea bargaining decisions, and 2) unfair rules having severe adverse impacts. Nor do the models measure the effects of the most significant change resulting from Booker -- an increase in the rate of sentences imposed below the recommended guideline range. Policymakers require a broader range of methods and data, as provided by a new generation of econometric researchers, before reaching conclusions about proposals for legislative change.

Keywords: federal sentencing, sentencing guidelines, Booker, disparity

Accepted Paper Series





Not Available For Download

Date posted: April 17, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Hofer, Paul Jeffrey, The Commission Defends an Ailing Hypothesis: Does Judicial Discretion Increase Demographic Disparity? (April 10, 2013). Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2252159

Contact Information

Paul Jeffrey Hofer (Contact Author)
Sentencing Resource Counsel Project ( email )
Washington, DC 20036
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences ( email )
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 163

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.312 seconds