New York Federal Criminal Practice Blog
February 17, 2008

EDNY Judge Orders Inmate's Release on March 3, 2008, Under Crack Retroactivity Amendment

Putting the lie to DOJ fear mongering that the crack retroactivity amendment will put thousands of violent criminals prematurely back on the streets, the judge in United States v. Wood, 88 CR 0723 (CPS), 2008 WL 399253 (E.D.N.Y. February 12, 2008), (a previous order of which is discussed here) issued a thoughtful decision ordering a deportable inmate's release on March 3, 2008, the effective date of the amendment.  Reducing Wood's base offense level by two points and applying the same downward departure of 9.6 percent imposed at the time of Wood's previous sentencing, the court found Wood eligible for release on March 3 (approximately three months earlier than Wood's original projected release date).  The court said the following about Wood's potential threat to the community: "Releasing Wood on March 3, 2008 does not pose a threat to the community. He will be immediately transferred to DHS custody and has previously consented to his removal from the country. Moreover, he has maintained good conduct and no disciplinary action has been taken against him during his entire period of incarceration [almost nineteen years]."

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