Inter-Judge Sentencing Disparity on the Federal Bench: An Examination of Drug Smuggling Cases in the Southern District of California
7 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2013
Date Written: 2013
In this paper we exploit a unique dataset we collected directly from the arrest narratives filed in "border bust" drug smuggling cases to analyze inter-judge sentencing disparity. The comprehensiveness of our data combined with the specific sentencing laws that apply to drug trafficking allow us to control very precisely for variations in offense conduct, offender characteristics, and criminal history. We develop a new statistical model of sentencing disparity that we believe is more accurate than previous attempts.
Keywords: sentencing, disparity, discretion, drugs, smuggling, judges
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