The resources below are designed to further an understanding of sentencing under particular statutory provisions, sentencing guidelines, or claims for relief.  Many of the links provide ideas for how to argue against the application of a particular statutory provision or guideline in a given case. For resources that critically examine the history and basis of the most frequently encountered sentencing guidelines see the Deconstruction page.

Click on the headings below to access links to documents.

  • Fast-Track Polices in Illegal Reentry Cases by District and Circuit
    This chart by Sentencing Resource Counsel collects information on the fast-track programs for illegal reentry cases -- or lack thereof -- in every district (except Guam and the Northern Marianas) as of December 2013, organized by circuit in order to highlight whether or not variances based on fast-track disparity are allowed in the circuit.

  • Fast-Track Policies
    This document was compiled by the Federal Public Defender's Office for the District of Arizona. The compilation contains written fast-track policies from many districts nationwide. It is bookmarked alphabetically by district.

  • Fast-Track Plea Agreements
    This document was compiled by the Federal Public Defender's Office for the District of Arizona. The compilation contains plea agreement samples, various forms and waivers from many districts nationwide (defendant names redacted). It is bookmarked alphabetically by district.

  • 1/31/12 DOJ Fast-Track Authorization Memo
    (extending fast-track programs to all districts in illegal re-entry prosecutions)

  • The Truth About Fast Track

  • 12/28/09 DOJ Fast-Track Authorization Memo

  • 5/29/09 DOJ Fast-Track Authorization Memo

  • 2/1/08 DOJ Fast-Track Authorization Memo

  • Conditional Waiver of Rights in Districts Without Fast-Track 
    Practitioners in districts without fast-track may consider using a conditional waiver of rights to support a disparate sentencing argument. The conditional waiver helps prove the client is similarly situated to defendants in fast-track districts in that he is willing to waive the same rights as do fast-track defendants, in exchange for a comparably low sentence.

  • Fast-Track Articles and Primary Source Materials
    These articles and primary source materials, published in the Fast Track issue of the Federal Sentencing Reporter (Vol. 21, No. 5, June 2009), are useful in arguing that judges have discretion to mitigate fast-track disparities. The above link provides free excerpts of and citations to the articles and source materials; use the citations to locate complete versions through LEXIS.

  • United States v. Ramirez, et al. - Petition for Rehearing & Rehearing En Banc 
    (arguing that the Seventh Circuit's panel decision (1) creates a circuit split and deviates from the Seventh Circuit's own precedent by requiring defendants seeking fast-track disparity reductions to waive certain rights without receiving any benefit in exchange; and (2) creates an additional circuit split by requiring defendants to provide extremely detailed information about all fast-track programs)