New York Federal Criminal Practice Blog
December 12, 2007

Sentencing Commission Makes Crack Guideline Amendments Retroactive

As widely reported, the Sentencing Commission voted unanimously yesterday to allow inmates convicted of crack offenses to seek sentence reductions based on new guidelines that went into effect on November 1, 2007 - a decision that is likely to yield some significant sentence reductions for those serving unnecessarily draconian sentences.  Of course, as the Commission admirably recognizes itself: "The Commission’s actions [yesterday], as well as promulgation of the original amendment for crack cocaine offenses, are only a partial step in mitigating the unwarranted sentencing disparity that exists between Federal powder and crack cocaine defendants."

The retroactivity does not go into effect until March 2008, "in order to give the courts sufficient time to prepare for and process these cases."  No doubt courts will issue some directives on how applications for adjustments of sentences can be made, although those with clients who might be immediately eligible for release on March 3, 2008, may not want to wait until a more formal process is established before submitting a motion to the sentencing judge.

See Archives for all posts since September 2007.