In the nine months since a landmark set of U.S. Supreme Court decisions freed them from the strictures of federal sentencing guidelines, judges in the 3rd Circuit have wasted no time handing out lighter sentences. Since the guidelines became advisory, 3rd Circuit judges have departed downward from them in 47.5 percent of cases. More lenient still was the 2nd Circuit. Adherence to the guidelines was staunchest in the 5th Circuit.
3rd Circuit Sentencing Departures Rise in Wake of 'Booker' and 'Fanfan'
New Jersey Law Journal
October 7, 2005