Civil Rights Case Search

Positive Commission Vote on Crack Retroactivity

The United States Sentencing Commission USSC voted today to make the new crack amendment retroactive. The retroactivity of this amendment, however, is not until March 3, 2008. The Commission also promulgated an application note intended to restrict resentencings solely to the two level reduction. The Sentencing Commission issued a lengthy press release today. It can be found at:

Florida Federal Court Attorney Lawyer Middle District Florida

Crack Sentencing Guidelines Retroactive

Defense attorneys and defendants across the United States will praise the U.S. Sentencing Commission USSC for allowing prisoners serving crack cocaine sentences to seek sentence reductions under the Sentencing Guidelines that went into effect on November 1. Retroactivity will affect 19,500 federal prisoners, almost 2,520 of whom could be eligible for early release in the first year. Federal courts will administer the application of the retroactive guideline, which is not automatic.

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Sentencing Guidelines Retroactive

Sentencing Crack Guidelines - Federal Cases - United States Sentencing Commission

The Supreme Court issued decisions in three important cases: Kimbrough, Gall and Watson. In Kimbrough, the court held that a sentencing court had the authority to reject the 100 to 1 crack ratio in determining a reasonable sentence under the Booker analysis. The case gives great deference to the findings of the United States Sentencing Commission regarding the crack/powder disparity. The Sentencing Commission has recently suggested that a 20 to 1 ratio would be appropriate. As a result, it is important that, if you have any crack sentencing cases coming up in the near future, you may want to continue the sentencing so that you can you can address the crack/powder ratio issue in light of the Court's holding in Kimbrough.

Additionally, a reminder that the Sentencing Commission will be meeting today to discuss the retroactivity of the new crack amendment.