We applied the fast-track to the loans closest to the average durations without the fast-track (40th to 60th percentile in Ohio and 42nd to 58th percentile in Pennsylvania).
We applied the fast-track to the fastest loans in each quartile or the first five percentiles of each quartile (0-5, 26-30, 50-55, 76-80) in Ohio and the first four percentiles in Pennsylvania (0-4, 26-29,50-54, 76-79).
It is worth noting that this simple method may underestimate the impact a fast-track would have on durations, because it assumes that all noneligible loans would continue to move through the process at their current pace.
Finally, we attempt to put a dollar figure on the deadweight loss eliminated by the use of a foreclosure fast-track. This is by far the most challenging part of this analysis because these costs cannot be observed directly in the data we have.
If a fast-track was able to reduce the amount of time homes spend vacant by speeding them through the foreclosure process and eventually to new owners, they would no longer be vacancies that reduce the sales prices of surrounding homes.
Similarly, if a fast-track could prevent vacant foreclosures from depreciating to the point of abandonment in the foreclosure process, those abandoned homes would not lower the sale price of surrounding properties by $700 to $6,000.
After determining that Kimbrough did not control this case, the Fifth Circuit held that the sentencing disparity could not be labeled as "unwarranted." (92) Falling back on its line of pre-Kimbrough cases, the court declined to call a disparity "unwarranted" "when the disparity was specifically authorized by Congress in the PROTECT Act." (93) The court reasoned that the "government's decision to offer a fast-track plea offer is no different from the Attorney General's prosecutorial discretion regarding whether to prosecute, what charge to file, whether to offer a plea agreement," none of which have been found to beget unwarranted disparities in sentencing.
Vega-Castillo, also declined to overturn its precedent that sentencing courts are not required to depart from Guidelines based on the limited availability of fast-track sentencing programs.
Rodriguez, holding that a sentencing court commits error when it does not consider disparity incident to the absence of a fast-track program.
(105) According to the court, the overarching principle of the sentencing statute, found in section 3553(a), is to "impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary to accomplish the goals of sentencing." (106) In view of the goals of sentencing, the court held that consideration of fast-track disparity is not barred by section 3553(a) and refusal to consider such disparity is procedural error.
The Rodriquez court also emphasized the similarities between the crack/powder ratio discussed in Kimbrough and fast-track departure: they had "been both blessed by Congress and openly criticized by the Sentencing Commission," (108) and neither "exemplif[ies] the ...
(113) The defendant in Arrelucea-Zamudio pleaded guilty to illegal reentry and argued for a downward variance based on the lack of availability of fast-track sentencing.