Business is Booming at Federal Criminal Courts; Drugs and Immigration 60% of Cases

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Federal criminal courts broke a record last year for the number of defendants that filed through the system. The number of defendants increased 3% over the previous year, with the total recorded at 102,931. Drug offenses were the most commonly prosecuted crimes, accounting for 31% of all defendant filings. The second most common cases involved immigration offenses (28%). Those charged with fraud offenses went up by 3%, to 12,973. Other increases occurred in charges relating to firearms and explosive offenses, sex offenses and property offenses.
Meanwhile, bankruptcy filings dropped 8%. Filings in appeals courts fell by 1.5%, primarily because of there was an earlier spike in the number of prisoners incarcerated for crack cocaine offenses seeking reductions of their sentences after legal guidelines were changed to correct the disparity in sentences for crack and powder cocaine.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:

Thousands of Federal Crack Prisoners Set for Early Release (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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