Persons Sentenced: Where Does Your Judge Rank?
(17 Feb 2015) The number of persons sentenced by individual federal judges varies widely, with the top ranking judge in the nation -- Robert C. Brack of New Mexico -- having sentenced 6,708 defendants in just the last five years. This total is nearly 2,000 more than the next judge on the list.

"It tears at my heart," Judge Brack told Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).

The judge's rank is documented in TRAC's analysis of millions of records covering the period from fiscal year 2010 through 2014. (For his entire 12-year judicial career, Judge Brack said that by the end of 2015 he probably will have have imposed close to 15,000 sentences. This total may be more than any other judge in U.S. history.)

More broadly, however, the TRAC study documents the vast differences found among individual judges in districts across the nation. The number of defendants sentenced by the judges -- disclosed in a listing included in TRAC's report -- is determined by the policies adopted by Congress and the administration, as well as numerous other factors, and rarely appears to be related to a judge's work practices.

This new study is one in a series from TRAC's Judge Information Center, which develops statistical information on federal district court judges through the analysis of millions of federal criminal and civil court records. The Judge Information Center currently includes data for all of fiscal year 2014, and will soon be updated to include the full calendar year.

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