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December 11, 2007

A preview of USSC crack retroactivity vote

As spotlighted here, the US Sentencing Commission has this public meeting scheduled for 3:30pm today, at which it seems likely to resolve whether its new crack guidelines can be applied retroactively.  A few new stories covering this consequential issue include this AP story, " Panel Weighs Easing Old Crack Sentences," and this ABC News piece, "Panel to Consider Crack Sentence Reductions."

Here is an abridged account of some of my prior blog coverage:

No matter what the USSC decides this afternoon, this story is going to march on.  There will surely be a lot of lower court litigation (and likely some disparate legal rulings) regardless of whether the USSC makes its new crack guidelines retroactive.  But, critically, what the USSC decides will set the terms of debate and the broader tone of this inevitable litigation.

December 11, 2007 at 10:35 AM | Permalink


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The agenda is pretty vague. Is it possible that the vote (votes?) on retroactivity could apply to other amendments? For example, to the amendment that has made it more likely that multiple, prior sentences imposed at the same time (even if brought in different indictments) will count as a single sentence for criminal history purposes? There are prisoners who would not have been sentenced as career offenders if this amendment had been in place previously.

Posted by: Apu | Dec 11, 2007 11:42:41 AM

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