Cover Story Behind the gavel of America's busiest judge

Robert Brack's crowded docket in a New Mexico federal courtroom shows the effects of a tougher US immigration policy.

By , Correspondent

Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor

Less than an hour into one of his regular morning dockets, federal district Judge Robert Brack has already sentenced 14 felons, or roughly one-sixth the number of people the average federal judge sentences in an entire year. The 15th defendant of the morning, Jamie Peña-Flores, stands before the judge shackled at the ankles, wrists, and waist.