Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Center on Media Crime and Justice at John Jay College
October 1, 2021

Courthouse Lottery: ‘Wide’ Sentencing Differences Found Among Federal Judges
By TCR Staff

A study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University confirms what most attorneys already know: the personal predilections of the judge sitting on the bench matter as much to the final outcome of a case as the facts at law. The study found wide differences in prison terms handed out by judges sitting in the same courthouse, ranging from 16 months in some jurisdictions to as high as 64 months in others. “While judges need sufficient discretion to consider the totality of circumstances in assigning a sentence in a specific case to ensure it is ‘just,’ a fair court system always seeks to provide equal justice under the law, working to ensure that sentencing patterns of judges are not widely different for similar kinds of cases,” TRAC said.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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