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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Panel Considers the Retroactivity of More Lenient Crack Cocaine Sentences

From washingtonpost.com: An independent panel is considering reducing the sentences of inmates incarcerated in federal prisons for crack cocaine offenses, which would make thousands of people immediately eligible to be freed.

The US Sentencing Commission, which sets guidelines for federal prison sentences, established more lenient guidelines this spring for future crack cocaine offenders. The panel is scheduled to consider today a proposal to make the new guidelines retroactive.

Should the panel adopt the new policy, the sentences of 19,500 inmates would be reduced by an average of 27 months. About 3,800 inmates now imprisoned for possession and distribution of crack cocaine could be freed within the next year, according to the commission's analysis. The proposal would cover only inmates in federal prisons and not those in state correctional facilities, where the vast majority of people convicted of drug offenses are held. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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