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Federal Sentencing Disparity Analysis

In United States v. Booker the United States Supreme Court instructed sentencing courts to fully consider all of the sentencing factors outlined in Title 18 USC §3553(a). One factor, “the need to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of similar conduct,” can be difficult for attorneys to effectively argue at sentencing. While the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) publishes an annual report summarizing the sentences imposed on defendants in federal courts for each fiscal year, these reports do not include the level of detail that sentencing judges often need, and defense attorneys’ desire. When determining whether or not a suggested sentence is disparate, access to the sentences imposed on similarly situated defendants is vital.

To assist attorneys and their clients, and ultimately the Court, MCM Data Consulting has the expertise to develop and provide an analysis for clients being sentenced in federal courts. MCM Data Consulting has received from the USSC the datasets it uses to prepare their annual reports and other publications. These datasets contain all pertinent sentencing information related to the more than 1.3 million defendants sentenced in federal courts between Fiscal Years 1999 and 2016. MCM Data Consulting is able to analyze this data with more specificity than that contained in the USSC’s annual reports, and can provide a disparity analysis tailored to each client’s unique situation. MCM Data Consulting has utilized these datasets for over a decade, and has achieved an unparalleled level of mastery of the data contained within these complex datasets.
Each disparity analysis MCM Data Consulting prepares examines the sentences imposed on similarly situated defendants and at the same time determines whether the sentence recommended for a particular individual is disparate. Information contained in these datasets for each defendant includes, among other variables:
  • Statute(s) of conviction (including statutory ranges and mandatory minimums, if applicable);
  • Guideline applied;
  • Whether the defendant entered into a plea agreement or was convicted after trial;
  • All guideline calculations (including chapter 2 specific offense characteristics and chapter 3 adjustments);
  • Loss amount or drug quantity and drug type, if applicable;
  • Criminal history information;
  • Final offense level and guideline range;
  • Probation office that drafted the Presentence Investigation Report;
  • District court where the defendant was sentenced;
  • Sentence imposed;
  • Detailed description of how the sentence will be served (for instance, whether home confinement, community confinement, community service, probation or imprisonment was ordered);
  • All monetary penalties imposed
  • Reasons for departure (including government sponsored departures, departures from the guidelines, and variances); and
  • Characteristics of the defendant (for example, age at sentencing, education level, and citizenship).
The analyses provided by MCM Data Consulting have been a critical component in assisting attorneys ensure that their clients receive a sufficient, but not greater than necessary, sentence as mandated by Title 18 USC §3553(a).
MCM Data Consulting LLC | 4816 Twinbrook Road | Fairfax, VA 22032 | p 703.971.0217 | f 703.539.1030
© 2017 MCM Data Consulting LLC. All rights reserved. Site designed by Carson Creative LLC
MCM Data Consulting LLC | 4816 Twinbrook Road
Fairfax, VA 22032 | p 703.971.0217 | f 703.978.0022
© 2016 MCM Data Consulting LLC. All rights reserved. Site designed by Carson Creative LLC
MCM Data Consulting LLC
4816 Twinbrook Road | Fairfax, VA 22032
p 703.971.0217 | f 703.978.0022
© 2016 MCM Data Consulting LLC. All rights reserved.
Site designed by Carson Creative LLC