Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

At first blush, it seems odd for an American contributor to an international conference on sentencing to focus on "high end" federal white collar sentencing. After all, federal cases make up a relatively small part of the U.S. criminal justice system. (Between October 2005 and September 2006, about 1,132,290 people were sentenced for a felony in state courts, and 73,009 in federal courts.) Even within the federal system, white collar cases of all sorts are a relatively small part of a criminal docket dominated by immigration, drug, and gun cases, which together comprised nearly 73% of all federal cases in 2009. And the "crimes involving fraud, deceit, theft, embezzlement, insider trading, and other forms of deception" that accounted for 9.5% of 2009 cases includes a great many offenders and offenses of the middling sort. Moreover, what is meant by "high end" anyway? Does a vague directional reference allow one to sidestep the longstanding scholarly debate about defining "white collar crime?"

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