Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Department of Economics, Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts
May 2013

Essays in Law and Economics dissertation
By Crystal Siming Yang

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) provides sentencing data obtained through FOIA requests. The data do not contain defendant demographics, offense characteristics, and Guidelines application information, but defendants are linked to the sentencing judge. To link defendant and crime characteristics to sentencing judge,I match sentencing records from the USSC to data provided by TRAC. By district court, matching is conducted on several key variables: sentencing year, sentencing month, offense type, sentence length in months,probation length in months, amount of monetary fine, whether the case ended by trial or plea agreement, and whether the case resulted in a life sentence. For defendants sentenced prior to fiscal year 2004, I also match on exact sentencing day. I successfully match over 90% of all cases from fiscal years 2000-2009.......[citing TRAC research].

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2013
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