Some Federal Judges Handle An Inordinate Criminal Caseload

beSpacific 2018-03-13

“During the past five years, through December 2017, forty-nine federal district court judges each sentenced more than one thousand defendants who appeared before them. All but two of these judges were located in courthouses along the southwest border with Mexico. In contrast, typically judges sentenced several hundred, not several thousand defendants over this five year time span. U.S. District Judge Robert C. Brack, in Las Cruces, in the District of New Mexico, topped the list sentencing 6,858 defendants. Eighty-five percent of those sentenced were convicted for immigration offenses. U.S. District Judge Alia M. Moses was in second place, sentencing 5,135 defendants who appeared in her Del Rio courtroom in the Western District of Texas. In third place was U.S. District Judge Kenneth John Gonzales who sentenced 4,668 defendants. Judge Gonzales also sits with Judge Brack in the Las Cruces courthouse. For federal districts that weren’t located along the southwest border, U.S. District Judge Linda R. Reade sentenced the largest number of defendants – a total of 1,070. Based in her Cedar Rapids courtroom in the Northern District of Iowa, Judge Reade served as chief judge until she retired on October 1, 2017. This new analysis about the varying criminal workloads covers 917 federal district court judges who had sentenced at least 50 defendants. The findings cover all active judges as well as senior judges who had retired from the bench but still heard cases. Information is available not only on each judge’s overall caseload, but by type of suit. Based on both extensive internal government data as well as court records, the research was carried out by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

To view a listing providing info on the number of defendants sentenced by each judge in all 94 federal judicial districts, go to TRAC’s Judge Information Center at: