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James Butler

Date of Award


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Restricted Thesis: Campus only access


This paper reviews previous research on the effect of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and builds on the previous literature with updated data from 1996-2016. The paper looks at the effect of the United States v. Booker Supreme Court case on the conviction rates of the Federal Circuit Courts using a logistic regression. Ultimately, I confirm previous studies' results and I conclude that federal judges convict a lower rate. Despite this, defense attorneys still avoid judges, at the potential expense of their clients. I discovered large conviction discrepancies between Circuit Courts and ultimately recommend potential policy changes.