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August 22, 2008

Big crack arguments before Eleventh Circuit

Thanks to law.com, we can now all read this effective article from the Fulton County Daily Report headlined "Crack Resentencing Controversy Comes Before 11th Circuit."  Here is how the piece starts:

Today, two of the most controversial issues in sentencing law -- the length of sentences for crack cocaine offenders and judges' ability to go outside the federal sentencing guidelines -- will intersect in arguments at a federal appeals court panel sitting in Atlanta.

The five cases from the Southern District of Florida, consolidated for oral argument at the 11th Circuit, have the potential to affect many other cases throughout Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The appellate chief at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta, Amy L. Weil, said she'd seen about a dozen motions by defendants in the Northern District of Georgia alone that raise the same issue.

In each case before the court today the defendant was convicted of a federal crack cocaine offense and sentenced before more lenient crack cocaine sentencing guidelines went into effect in November.  Each is trying to get a new sentence based on the change in the guidelines but has been stymied because prosecutors argue they were sentenced as career offenders.

August 22, 2008 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Talking about Biden and his stand on crime.

BIDEN Calls for an End to Crack/Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity
http://biden.senate.gov/press/statements/statement/?id=de85052d-f5e6-4f9c-af38-3d56d9c0bfc3

Posted by: | Aug 23, 2008 1:28:43 PM

I am the mother of a 37 year old man that had to take a 15 year plea bargin in Federal Court, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, OK, on August 11, 2008, for 102 grams of crack cocaine and 1 weapon. The U.S. Attorney dropped the 5 grams of power cocaine and 4 of the 5 gun charges. He stated the mandatory minimun sentence for the crack was 10 years and 5 years for the gun charge. My son told his lawyers that he did not know the drugs were in his house. During the time all this happen, my son had a house guest that had freedom to move around the house and was left there unattended. The drugs were tested for my son's finger prints and they were not found on the drugs. He was informed by his Attorneys that 10 years for the drugs and 5 years for the gun was the minimun sentence and can't go any lower if they wanted to. If he decided to go to court, he was looking at a minimun of 30 to life. I would have thought they would have gotten the drug charges dropped all together, since his prints were not on none of the drugs (powder or crack). Under the new law as of June 5, 2008, what does this mean for my son. Is there something else coming down the pike in November for lowering the sentence for drugs and/or guns?

Posted by: C.W. Dickerson | Aug 25, 2008 12:00:27 AM

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