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January 7, 2008

Important memo analyzing crack retroactivity issues

Thanks to the folks at the Office of Defender Services, this website now has made available this impressive and important 23-page memorandum that seeks to provide "a comprehensive analysis of issues that may arise in the retroactive application of the crack cocaine guideline amendments."  The memo is dated January 2, 2008, and was authored by the National Federal Defender Sentencing Resource Counsel.  Key topics covered in this memorandum include:

  1. the right to counsel
  2. the right to a hearing, and the right for the defendant to be present
  3. the right to a full resentencing in accord with Booker v. United States
  4. obtaining early release for defendants eligible for release before March 3, 2008
  5. retroactive application of the amendments in special cases, including career offender and Armed Career Criminal cases.

January 7, 2008 at 07:35 AM | Permalink


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Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised at the aggressive and confrontational posture taken by this position paper from the Defenders.
Apparently, they see anything from the Sentencing Commision--even necessary administative rules and procedures-- as mere suggestions that can be disregarded under Booker. To pretend that the retroactive examination of 20,000 cases requires no administrative lead time and that the Commision's implementation date of March 3, 2008 is only "advisory" is a position that could diminish their credibility on the more important issues at hand.

Posted by: anonymous | Jan 7, 2008 2:37:41 PM

Now I can say: "I told you so." The defense bar is using the amendment as a basis to argue for unbridled discretion to reduce a sentence by any amount.

Posted by: Da Man | Jan 7, 2008 3:44:45 PM

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