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June 30, 2011

US Sentencing Commission voting today on making new FSA crack guidelines retroactive

As previously noted here and as indicated in this official public notice, this afternoon at a public meeting, the US Sentencing Commission will vote on whether and how to make the new reduced crack offense federal sentencing guidelines applicable retroactively to previously sentencing defendants.  The new guidelines reflect the 18-1 quantity ratio between crack and powder cocaine quantities that became the new federal sentencing standard after the Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.

As I have detailed in prior posts (some of which are linked below), a decision to make the crack guidelines retroactive would potentially impact the sentences of many thousands of federal prisoners, and this fact has made this issue a subject of considerable controversy.  Still, the smart money is on the Sentencing Commission voting to make the new crack guidelines retroactive with a few (but not too many) limitations on which previously sentencing defendants can get the benefit of the new lower guidelines.

A few related posts on this particular retroactivity decision before the USSC are linked below, and readers interested in a broader understanding of the FSA should check out this February 2011 issue of the Federal Sentencing Reporter on the FSA and those interested in a broader discussion of the last round of crack retroactivity should check out this April 2008 FSR issue on crack retroactivity:

I will be on the road and likely off-line until very late tonight, but the folks at FAMM are all over this issue, as evidenced by this new item on FAMM's homepage:

Today! Historic Sentencing Commission vote on retroactivity

At 1 p.m., the U.S. Sentencing Commission will vote on retroactivity of the crack guidelines.  FAMM's Mary Price told the Associated Press, "there is a tremendous amount of hope out there ... there is a potential that people could see their sentences reduced, some quite dramatically."  Learn more -- read FAMM's latest factsheet, "Myths and Facts on Crack Guideline Retroactivity" and other resources.  FAMM will also report live from the vote on Twitter.

June 30, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Retroactivity it is, beginning November 1:
http://www.ussc.gov/Legislative_and_Public_Affairs/Newsroom/Press_Releases/20110630_Press_Release.pdf

Posted by: JDB | Jun 30, 2011 2:37:13 PM

Well, that is assuming Congress doesn't put the kibosh on it by then (tho I think Congressional action unlikely).

Posted by: anon | Jun 30, 2011 6:07:15 PM

Well DUH?

That is what a just society should have done and never argued about.

Oh, I forget, we are talking legalese here (aka, the USSC syncophants, who are the politically least worthy to hold these positions).

What a waste of arguing the obvious.

Posted by: albeed | Jul 2, 2011 12:10:26 AM

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