Departure Reasons Among Male and Female Embezzlers Sentenced Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Barbara A. Sharp, University of Maryland at College Park

This study builds upon previous work done with an extract of 1999 federal offenders sentencing under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The analysis was performed on 867 offenders whose only unique offense of conviction was for embezzlement. The purpose of the study was to ascertain whether gender played any role in the sentencing process using this non-violent crime with a substantial proportion of female offenders. I used three hypotheses to test for gender disparity, but I found that gender played no significant role in the sentencing decision once the sum of embezzled funds was taken into consideration using the guidelines loss table used in the final offense level computation. The current study builds on previous findings by replicating the data analysis for one year prior and one year after to see trends over time. It also involves an in-depth analysis of reasons given by federal judges as to why they departed outside the guideline range during sentencing, with a particular focus on differences between reasons why male and female embezzlers received departures.

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Updated 05/20/2006