Adventures on the Back of the Envelope, Part III: What’s the Hardest Federal Crime to Prove?

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2 Responses

  1. dave hoffman says:

    Kyle

    Interesting! Can you tell us more about the database? That is, for each “case” does it contain all of the (five serious) charges, so that you can tell which of them manages to be proven?

  2. Kyle says:

    Dave: It’s a database that I compiled using BJS statistics that have been made available through the ICPSR.

    The database combines these individual datasets: Defendants in Federal Criminal Cases in District Court—Terminated, 2003 [ICPSR 24153]; United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics Program: Defendants in Federal Criminal Cases in District Court—Terminated, 2004 [ICPSR 24170]; United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics Program: Defendants in Federal Criminal Cases in District Court—Terminated, 2005 [ICPSR 24187]; United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics Program: Defendants in Federal Criminal Cases in District Court—Terminated, 2006 [ICPSR 24205]; United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics Program: Defendants in Federal Criminal Cases in District Court—Terminated, 2007 [ICPSR 24222]; United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics Program: Defendants in Federal Criminal Cases in District Court—Terminated, 2008 [ICPSR 29242]; and United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics Program: Defendants in Federal Criminal Cases in District Court—Terminated, 2009 [ICPSR 30784]).

    Among the data fields included in both these datasets and my database are the five most serious initial charges, and the five most serious charges at the time of case termination. One issue with this “most serious” calculation concerns its bypass of enhancements; the “most serious” designation follows from the base offense level assigned to the offense.