Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

The Sentencing Commission’s recent report on the effects of United States v.Booker makes a number of very worri- some claims.The most alarming is that the gap in sen- tences between otherwise similar Black and White men has nearly quadrupled: from 4.5 percent before Booker, to 15 percent after it, to 19.5 percent after United States v. Kimbrough and United States v.Gall. 1 The Commission further claims that interjudge disparity has increased in two-thirds of the federal districts, and that interdistrict variation has also increased.2 If its findings were accurate, and if these changes could be causally attributed to Booker and its successors, it would clearly raise very serious policy concerns. The Commission evidently believes that Booker has in fact created a problem, because it concludes by pro- posing changes that would essentially undo Booker and restore presumptive guidelines.


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