This week the Supreme Court considered, in Dorsey v. United States and Hill v. United States, whether the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 applies retroactively to those prisoners sentenced before the act took effect. A number of media outlets reported on the oral arguments, including Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSBlog; Adam Liptak at the New York Times; Mike [...]
What Is the Impact of the Supreme Court’s Ruling in Freeman v. United States to the Retroactive Crack Cocaine Amendment?
First impressions are rarely accurate. At least mine, anyway. So when I first read Justice Sotomayor’s concurring opinion in Freeman v. United States, No. 09-10245, I didn’t think much of it. The number of guideline amendments that turn retroactive is few as are Rule 11(c) plea agreements. But giving the opinion a [...]
Today, the U.S. Sentencing Commission "voted unanimously" to give "retroactive effect to its proposed permanent amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines that implements the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010," a press release said. The retroactively applicable guideline amendment for crack cocaine offenses will allow over 12,000 federal prisoners to seek resentencing. According to the Sentencing Commission [...]
For the next month I will be focusing on prisoners’ issues, because I know that many prisoners’ families come to the CockleBur to keep up-to-date on legal developments affecting prisoners. So here is a roundup of the latest prisoner stories in the news. Last week, the New York Times published an editorial entitled, [...]
U.S. Sentencing Commissions Makes Permanent Amendment to the Sentencing Guidelines for Offenses Involving Crack Cocaine
On April 6, 2011, the U.S. Sentencing Commission issued a press release stating that the Commission amended the Sentencing Guidelines to account for the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. The changes will be permanent and will result in lower sentences for those facing mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine offenses. Commission chair, [...]
On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear argument in DePierre v. United States, 09-1533, and decide a long-running dispute on what Congress meant by the term “cocaine base” for purposes of imposing mandatory minimum sentences under the federal narcotics statute. In 1985, Maryland basketball star Len Bias died of a cocaine drug overdose [...]