Prosecutions for August 2007
Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during August 2007 the government reported 1125 new prosecutions for these matters. Those cases were referred by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 14.1% over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged 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 2007 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was down (-5 percent).
Prosecutions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago.
Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 32.6 percent from levels reported in 2002.
Figure 1: Criminal Prosecutions over the last five years
The decrease from the levels five years ago in prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of prosecutions of this type recorded on a month-to-month
basis. 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. To view trends year-by-year rather than month-by-month, see TRAC's annual report series for a broader picture.
Cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.
The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in August 2007 was for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking", accounting for 15 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (11.5%), "
Bank Robbery" (11.4%), "Other Criminal Prosecutions" (8.8%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (7.2%), "Other-Not Specified" (5.6%), "Pornography-Child" (3.3%), "All Other Violent Crime" (3%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (3%), "
Organized Crime-Emerging Organization" (3%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (2.8%), "Violent Crime in Indian Country" (2.5%), "Fugitive Crimes" (2.4%), "Fraud-Other" (2.3%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In August 2007, 21 percent of cases for these matters took place in U.S. Magistrate Courts which handle less serious
misdemeanor cases, including what are called "petty offenses."
In the magistrate courts in August the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 18 U.S.C Section 1073 involving the "Flight to avoid prosecution or giving testimony". This was the lead charge
for 15.9 percent of all magistrate filings in August.
Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes" (14.6%), "21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention + Control-Prohibited acts A" (8.4%), "21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy" (6.7%).
Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during August 2007referred by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Table 2: Top charges filed
"Bank robbery and incidental crimes" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 2113) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
"Bank robbery and incidental crimes" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 2113) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was the 2 most frequently invoked 5 years ago..
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Drug Abuse Prevention + Control-Prohibited acts A" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 841.
"Drug Abuse Prevention + Control-Prohibited acts A" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 841 was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was the 3 most frequently invoked 5 years ago..
Ranked 3rd was "Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 846.
"Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 846 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was the 1 most frequently invoked 5 years ago..
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions—up 40.9 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1962
that involves " RICO - prohibited activities
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—150 percent—was registered for
prosecutions under " Prohibition of illegal gambling businesses
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1955 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 33.8 percent—was
(Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 ).
This was the same statute that had the largest decrease— 67.2 %—when compared with five years ago.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In August 2007 the Justice Department said the government brought 362.1 prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of prosecutions that are filed in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.
The districts registering the
largest number of prosecutions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3.
Districts must have at least 5 prosecutions to receive a ranking.
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)
The District of South Dakota—with 2802 prosecutions as compared with .prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during August 2007.
The District of Montana ranked 2nd.
District of Alaska is now ranking 3rd.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Western District of North Carolina (Asheville), now ranked
, and South Dakota
In the same order, these districts ranked 16th and 20th one year ago and 51st and 53rd five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of prosecutions compared to one year ago— 160 percent—was
This was the same district that had the largest increase— 105.3 %—when compared with five years ago.
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the
largest drop in the rate of prosecutions— 65 percent—was
Washington, D.C. (Washington).
This was the same district that had the largest increase— 68.2 %—when compared with five years ago.
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 of this type during August 2007 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 3 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings per capita, while the remaining 7 judges were from other districts.
Judge Juan Manuel Perez-Gimenez in the District of Puerto Rico ranked 1st with 45 defendants in cases.
Judge Lacy Herman Thornburg in the Western District of North Carolina (Asheville) ranked 2nd with 24 defendants in cases.
Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis) ranked 3rd with 18 defendants in cases.