Convictions for March 2014
Referring Agency: Immigration and Customs in Homeland Security
Table 1. Criminal Convictions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during March 2014 the government reported 7708 new convictions for these matters. Those cases were referred by the Immigration and Customs in Homeland Security.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 12.7 percent over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (see Table 1).
When monthly 2014 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-21%).
Convictions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago.
Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are down 15.1 percent from levels reported in 2009.
The dip in
these cases is partly related to increases in the matters filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. If magistrate cases
are excluded and only Federal District Court cases are counted, the overall decrease in
convictions is 3.5 percent instead of 15.1 percent.
The evidence suggests that part of the difference may be the result of improvements in the recording of the magistrate cases
by the Justice Department.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Convictions
The decrease from the levels five years ago in convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of convictions of this type recorded on a month-to-month
basis. Where a prosecution was initially filed in U.S. Magistrate Court and then transferred to the U.S. District Court,
the magistrate filing date was used since this provides an earlier indicator of actual trends.
The superimposed line on the bars plots the six-month moving average so
that natural fluctuations are smoothed out. The one and five-year rates of change in Table 1 and in the sections that follow are all based upon this six-month moving average.
Cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.
The largest number of convictions of these matters in March 2014 was for "Immigration", accounting for 86.6 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (8.2%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Convictions
Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In March 2014, 4488 defendants
in cases for these matters were
filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. These courts handle less serious
misdemeanor cases, including what are called "petty offenses." In
addition, complaints are sometimes filed in the magistrate courts before
an indictment or information is entered. In these cases, the matter
starts in the magistrate courts and later moves to the district court
where subsequent proceedings take place.
In the magistrate courts in March the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325 involving "Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.". This was the lead charge
for 61 percent of all magistrate convictions in March.
Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "08 USC 1326 - Reentry of deported alien" (33.1%).
Convictions in U.S. District Courts
In March 2014, 3220 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during March there
were an additional 0 defendants whose cases moved from the magistrate
courts to the U.S. district courts after an indictment or information
was filed. The sections which follow cover both sets of cases and
therefore cover all matters filed in district court during March.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during March 2014 referred by the Immigration and Customs in Homeland Security.
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions
"Reentry of deported alien" (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
"Reentry of deported alien" (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Bringing in and harboring certain aliens" under Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324.
"Bringing in and harboring certain aliens" under Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "Importation of controlled substances" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 952.
"Importation of controlled substances" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 952 was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 6 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in convictions — up 50.3 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325
that involves " Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 1166.7 percent — was registered for
convictions under " Misuse of passport
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1544 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in convictions compared to one year ago — down 12.8 percent — was
" Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1546 ).
Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions — 66.5 percent — was
for convictions where the lead charge was " Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.
" (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In March 2014 the Justice Department said the government obtained 1230.9 convictions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of convictions in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.
The districts registering the
largest number of convictions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3.
Districts must have at least 5 convictions to receive a ranking.
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)
The District of New Mexico — with 23131 convictions as compared with 1230.9 convictions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during March 2014.
The District of New Mexico was ranked 5 a year ago, while it was ranked 5 for most frequent use five years ago.
The Southern District of California (San Diego) ranked 2nd.
The Southern District of California (San Diego) was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 for most frequent use five years ago.
Western District of Texas (San Antonio) is now ranking 3rd.
The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 for most frequent use five years ago.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Utah , now ranked
, and Western District of North Carolina (Asheville)
In the same order, these districts ranked 11th and 14th one year ago and 16th and 35th five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago — 20.8 percent — was
Southern District of Florida (Miami).
Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth — 900 percent — was
Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge).
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the
largest drop in the rate of convictions — 44.8 percent — was
Western District of North Carolina (Asheville).
But over the past five years,
Southern District of California (San Diego)
showed the largest drop — 20.6 percent.
Top Ranked District Judges
At any one time, there are about 680 federal District Court judges working in the United States. The judges recorded with the largest number of new crime cases resulting in convictions of this type
during March 2014 are shown in Table 4.
All 11 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of convictions per capit. (Because of ties, there were a total of 11 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judge Robert C. Brack in the District of New Mexico ranked 1st with 133 convicted in convictions.
Judge Brack appeared in the top ten rankings one year (ranked 1) and five years ago (rank 2).
Judge Alia Moses in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd with 105 convicted in convictions.
Judge Moses also appeared in the top ten rankings one year ago (ranked 2).
Judge Kenneth John Gonzales in the District of New Mexico ranked 3rd with 96 convicted in convictions.
Report Generated: May 13, 2014