Convictions for August 2012
Table 1: Criminal Convictions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during August 2012 the government reported 12895 new convictions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 2.6% 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 2012 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of convictions was up (5.1 percent).
Convictions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago.
Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are up 62.3 percent from levels reported in 2007.
The substantial growth 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 increase in
convictions is 12.6 percent instead of 62.3 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 increase 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. 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 convictions of these matters in August 2012 was for "Immigration", accounting for 57.4 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (12.6%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (
4.7%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (4.5%), "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (4%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for convictions in August 2012
was DHS accounting for 63 percent of convictions.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of convictions were:
DEA (10% ), FBI (9%), ATF (6%), Interior (2%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2: Specific types of convictions
Figure 3: Convictions by investigative agency
Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In August 2012, 5807 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 August the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325 involving the "Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.". This was the lead charge
for 74.1 percent of all magistrate convictions in August.
Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "08 USC 1326 - Reentry of deported alien" (16.3%).
Convictions in U.S. District Courts
In August 2012, 7088 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during August 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 August.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during August 2012.
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 2 five 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 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five 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 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in convictions—up 25.7 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 21 U.S.C Section 952
that involves " Importation of controlled substances
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—90.1 percent—was registered for
convictions under " Reentry of deported alien
" (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in convictions compared to one year ago—down 17.5 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— 29.9 percent—was
for convictions where the lead charge was " Bringing in and harboring certain aliens
" (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In August 2012 the Justice Department said the government obtained 2770.5 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 Southern District of California (San Diego)—with 15314 convictions as compared with 2770.5 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during August 2012.
The Southern District of California (San Diego) was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 4 for most frequent use five years ago.
The District of New Mexico ranked 2nd.
The District of New Mexico was ranked 5 a year ago, while it was ranked 5 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 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 for most frequent use five years ago.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Western District of Tennessee (Memphis), now ranked
, and Wyoming
In the same order, these districts ranked 28th and 49th one year ago and 40th and 74th five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 15.2 percent—was
Western District of Texas (San Antonio).
Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 144.4 percent—was
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the
largest drop in the rate of convictions— 28.6 percent—was
Southern District of Texas (Houston).
But over the past five years,
showed the largest drop— 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 August 2012 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 8 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of convictions per capita, while the remaining 2 judges were from other districts.
Judge Robert A. Junell in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 1st with 143 convicted in convictions.
Judge Junell appeared in the top ten rankings one year (ranked 7) and five years ago (rank 10).
Judge Robert C. Brack in the District of New Mexico ranked 2nd with 119 convicted in convictions.
Judge Juan Manuel Perez-Gimenez in the District of Puerto Rico ranked 3rd with 118 convicted in convictions.
Report Generated: November 19, 2012