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Charging and Sentencing Decisions Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: A Three District Study, 1998-2000 (ICPSR 31141) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The Charging and Sentencing Decisions Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: A Three District Study, 1998-2000 looks at federal sentencing practices and outcomes at the district level and uses quantitative and qualitative research techniques to describe and analyze charging, plea bargaining, and sentencing policies, practices, and outcomes. This research studies three United States District Courts: the District of Nebraska, the District of Minnesota, and the Southern District of Iowa. The primary objectives of this study are: (1) to test for inter-district disparity in sentencing; (2) to describe charging and plea bargaining practices and to identify the predictors of charging and plea bargaining decisions; and (3) to examine the effect of offender and case characteristics on sentence outcomes at the district level. Detailed data on the offender, the case, and the sentence was obtained from the USSC's Offender Datafile for each district for each year. Data was supplemented with information contained in the Presentence Investigation Report, the Sentencing Recommendation, the Order of Judgment, and other documents provided by each United States District Court. Judges, attorneys, and probation officers in each district were interviewed. This dataset includes basic demographic variables such as race, age, sex, marital status, and education level. Other data obtained includes substance use, offense type, criminal charges, physical and mental health treatment, and court and trial proceeding information.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access.

    This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, this data collection is restricted from general dissemination. To obtain this file, researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement in accordance with existing ICPSR servicing policies.

Dataset(s)

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Study Description

Citation

Spohn , Cassia. Charging and Sentencing Decisions Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: A Three District Study, 1998-2000. ICPSR31141-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-09-12. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR31141.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-0136236)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   court system, criminal justice system, district courts, federal courts, judges, judicial decision making, offender profiles, offenders, plea negotiations, sentencing, sentencing guidelines

Smallest Geographic Unit:   state

Geographic Coverage:   Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1998--2000

Date of Collection:  

  • 2002--2004

Unit of Observation:   individual

Universe:   Sentencing outcomes for all cases prosecuted during the 1998-2000 fiscal years in three District Courts: the District of Nebraska, the District of Minnesota, and the Southern District of Iowa.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

The original data collection was produced by the University of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska.

Methodology

Sample:   All cases prosecuted in the District Courts of Nebraska, Minnesota, and Southern Iowa during the 1998-2002 fiscal years.

Mode of Data Collection:   record abstracts

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

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