Judge James Block Zagel
September 2012: Median Prison Sentence

District Court - Illinois North
Referring Agency: Drug Enforcement Administration
Program Area: Narcotics/Drugs

Show Details   Judge Compared
To District
To U.S.
Latest Fiscal Year 112.0 - -
Previous Fiscal Year 23.5 - -
Past 5 Years 48.0 -27.8% -15.8%
Percent not reported where cases too few to provide
meaningful comparison.

Table 1: Current and 5 Year
Median Prison Sentence Comparison

For all cases disposed of in the current fiscal year (2012) that were credited to Judge James Block Zagel in the Northern District of Illinois, the median prison sentence was 112.0 months, when looking only at cases referred by the Drug Enforcement Administration falling under the broad category of "Narcotics/Drugs". During the current fiscal year, Judge James Block Zagel has sentenced 6 defendants compared with 8 defendants during the twelve months of the previous fiscal year.

Over the last five years, the median prison sentence imposed on defendants that were credited to Judge Zagel was 48.0 months. This was 27.8% lower than the 66.5 months typical in Illinois North and 15.8% lower than the 57.0 months median prison sentence for the nation. Judge James Block Zagel sentenced 32 defendants during the past five years.

(CAUTION: The kinds of cases handled by individual judges influences statistical information about their sentences. It therefore is important to consider the breakdown of cases that each has handled, available below, when making judge-by-judge comparisons.)

Bar chart of start

Figure 1: Five Year Comparison of Median Prison Sentence
in Months

Figure 1 compares Judge Zagel's numbers to those for judges in this district and in the United States as a whole for cases of this type over the last five years.

During the last five years there were 26 other judges in the Northern District of Illinois with information on convictions during that period. Median prison sentence numbers passed down for those judges ranged from 46.0 months to 120.0 months, putting Judge Zagel's median prison sentence of 48.0 months at the lower end of the range. The median prison sentence for the whole Northern District of Illinois during that time was 66.5 months.

Bar chart of label

Figure 2: Detailed Comparison among Judges for the Northern District of Illinois

Professional Biography

Born 1941 in Chicago, IL

Federal Judicial Service
Judge, U. S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Nominated by Ronald Reagan on February 2, 1987, to a seat vacated by Frank J. McGarr; Confirmed by the Senate on April 21, 1987, and received commission on April 22, 1987.

University of Chicago, B.A., 1962
University of Chicago, M.A., 1962
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1965

Professional Career:
Assistant state's attorney, Cook County, Illinois, 1965-1969
Assistant attorney general, State of Illinois, 1969-1977
Deputy chief, Criminal Justice Division, 1969-1970
Chief, Criminal Justice Division, 1970-1977
Chief prosecuting attorney, Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board, 1973-1975
Chief assistant attorney general, State of Arizona, 1975
Executive director, Illinois Law Enforcement Commision, 1977-1979
Director, Department of Revenue, State of Illinois, 1979-1980
Chairman, Governor's Advisory Counsel on Criminal Justice Legislation, 1980-1987
Director of state police, State of Illinois, 1980-1987

Lead Charges in Cases Handled

The lead charge with the most cases disposed of by Judge James Block Zagel for the past five years was "21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy". It accounted for 53.1% of all cases.

Other lead charges with substantial numbers of cases that were disposed by Judge James Block Zagel over the past five years were: "21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A" (43.8%), "Withheld by govt from TRAC (FOIA challenge pending)" (3.1%).

Lead Charge Judge District US  
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 53.1% 49.1% 42.8% More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 43.8% 45.6% 52.2% More
Not specified 3.1% 0.5% 0.0%  

Table 2: Composition of Cases for the Past Five Years (Top 10)

Number of Defendants in Judge James Block Zagel's Cases

Case Def. Sentence (Months) Sentencing Date Program Category  
1 2 89.00 07/30/12 Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force Details
2 1 292.00 07/18/12 Drugs-Drug Trafficking Details
1 1 66.00 06/27/12 Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force Details
3 1 60.00 06/26/12 Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force Details
4 1 135.00 06/06/12 Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force Details
4 2 135.00 06/04/12 Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force Details

Table 3: Individual Cases and Defendants Disposed of in Current Fiscal Year