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Pretrial Detention and the Sentencing Variance: An Analysis of Fixed Effects Across U.S. District Courts

Volume 85 Number 3
December 2021

Using multilevel analysis, the authors determine that defendants detained pretrial are 49 percent less likely to receive a downward sentencing variance than those defendants released pretrial, and among all defendants who do receive downward variances, detained defendants receive variances that are 26 percent smaller than those of their released counterparts.