|(09 Jun 2020)
The latest judge-by-judge sentencing reports, updated through calendar year 2019, compare the sentences given by each of 916 U.S. District Court judges. Altogether these judges sentenced 315,702 federal offenders during the five-year period ending December 2019.
In terms of sentencing caseloads, judges who serve in the five districts along the southwest border with Mexico held all 50 top spots, with each judge sentencing more than one thousand defendants each. This reflects the fact that two out of three federal convictions in the country are for immigration matters.
Judge Robert C. Brack who serves on the New Mexico U.S. District Court bench again topped this list for another year, passing sentence on 5,089 defendants during this period. Judge Brack serves on bench in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which sits right on the border between the United States and Mexico.
Judge Brack's record was almost tied by Judge Kenneth John Gonzales, who also serves on the New Mexico court in Las Cruces. Judge Gonzales sentenced 5,087 defendants.
In third place was Judge Alia M. Moses who sentenced 4,444 defendants. Judge Moses serves on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas and sits on the bench in Del Rio along the border. Thus, her caseload - similar to Judge Brack and Judge Gonzales -- is also dominated by immigration cases.
Among judges not serving in the five districts bordering Mexico, the top spots were held by judges who sentenced large numbers of drug offenders. Judge Daniel L. Hovland, who serves on the North Dakota U.S. District Court held the record, sentencing 984 defendants during the five-year period ending December 2019.
Following Judge Hovland was Judge Laurie Smith Camp on the Nebraska District Court bench. She sentenced 868 defendants. In third place among judges serving in districts not bordering Mexico was Judge Linda R. Read who serves on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. She sentenced 860 defendants during this period.
Based on extensive internal government data as well as court records, the research was carried out by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. Free web-query tools allow easy ranking of judges by the number of federal offenders sentenced, as well as drilling in by district as well as type of offense. Detailed reports on each judge comparing the average and median prison sentences handed out are also available on a monthly or annual subscription basis.
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