TRAC-Reports
Striking Judge-to-Judge Differences in Federal Criminal Caseloads
(12 Nov 2012) An analysis of case-by-case records covering more than 400,000 defendants has found surprising variations in the criminal caseloads of individual federal judges for the nation as a whole and in some instances among the judges serving in the same courthouse. The extent of these differences, disclosed in a study by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), raises a rarely examined question: are there serious problems in the way the government as a whole is managing the federal prosecution of criminal cases?

One key finding was that among certain courthouses -- including Los Angeles, Beaumont, Camden and Manhattan -- there were judges whose criminal caseload was twice the caseload of their colleague(s). In another observation, judges in Washington, D.C. handled an average of only 147 defendants during the study period while the figure in Las Cruces was 7,020.

The report focuses on all 430 active judges who served for the entire 70-month period ending in July 2012. These judges were located in 179 courthouses across the United States. Included in the report are listings of the top and bottom 25 courthouses for each indicator of caseload. View the report at:

http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/judge/297/
TRAC's effort to develop the case-by-case data needed for this report began more than 20 years ago, and extensive judge-by-judge sentencing records now have been updated through July 2012. For specific figures listing the number of criminal defendants each judge has sentenced, go to TRAC's Judge Info Center at:
http://tracfed.syr.edu/judges/interp/
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TRAC is self-supporting and depends on foundation grants, individual contributions and subscription fees for the funding needed to obtain, analyze and publish the data we collect on the activities of the US Federal government. To help support TRAC's ongoing efforts, go to:
http://trac.syr.edu/sponsor/

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