U.S. Sentencing Commission Releases Report on Sentencing Trends in Federal Robbery Cases

The Federal Docket

August 22, 2022

Last week, the U.S. Sentencing Commission published a new study on defendants sentenced on federal robbery charges in 2021. The report provides a comprehensive look at the demographics and other characteristics of robbery offenders, as well as well as their ranges of prior criminal history and the types of sentences imposed. Notably, the report also identifies characteristics of the robbery offense itself such as the identity of the victim, the type of property taken, whether violence was used or threatened, whether a weapon was involved, and whether the victim was injured or killed.

Among some of the report’s findings:

  • Robbery offenders continue to experience a high recidivism rate relative to other offenders
  • From 2012 to 2021, robbery offenders represented about 1.9% to 2.3% of federal criminal cases
  • Most robbery convictions during this ten year period were for Hobbs Act robbery, bank robbery, and carjacking
  • Relative to other violent offenders, robbery offenders tend to have more extensive and more serious prior criminal histories
  • A majority of federal robbery offenses involved firearms or threats of violence against victims
  • The average sentence for robbery offenders in 2021 was 105 months, though many of these sentences were enhanced based on an additional conviction under 18 USC 924(c) for an average of 155 months. Notably, in many of the cases involving 924(c), judges varied significantly from the Guidelines for the underlying robbery charge while imposing the mandatory 5-year term under 924(c).

Click here to read the report.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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