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U.S. Attorneys, Political Control, and Career Ambition$
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Banks Miller and Brett Curry

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190928247

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190928247.001.0001

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Political Responsiveness and Sentence Length

Political Responsiveness and Sentence Length

(p.103) 6 Political Responsiveness and Sentence Length
U.S. Attorneys, Political Control, and Career Ambition

Banks Miller

Brett Curry

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an analysis of variations in sentence length across the study’s issue areas of interest. That assessment incorporates the changes in sentencing law wrought by United States v. Booker, which many suggest increased the influence of local actors and U.S. Attorneys (USAs) themselves at the potential expense of national principals. In addition, the chapter contains a thorough discussion of the role of mandatory minimums in structuring sentence length in narcotics and weapons prosecutions. It also considers how USAs might cabin the discretion of their subordinates. Model results confirm that the discretion of USAs increased after Booker, but that executive branch influence was also strengthened.

Keywords:   mandatory minimum, sentence length, United States v. Booker, plea bargaining, local actors, Sentencing Guidelines, United States Attorney

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