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November 1 heralds new day for crack sentencing

November 1 heralds new day for crack sentencing


Effective November 1st, nearly 80 percent of defendants convicted of federal crack cocaine offenses will face sentences 16 months shorter on average, thanks to sentencing guideline reforms approved by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. 

 "FAMM applauds the Commission’s reform of the crack cocaine guidelines. It is a long overdue first step to improving crack sentences, and though it does not solve the problem of excessive crack cocaine penalties it moves us closer to that goal," said Julie Stewart, president of FAMM. "However, if the amendment is not made retroactive, nearly 20,000 federal prisoners currently serving harsh sentences for crack cocaine offenses will not be eligible for relief."