May 19, 2013
by Endia Vereen
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Friday ruled that people convicted of crack cocaine offenses have a right to resentencing hearings under the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA). The case was brought by two incarcerated defendants seeking retroactive relief from racially discriminatory, 10- ...[read more]
November 1, 2012
by Katherine Bacher
On November 1, 2011, the US Sentencing Commission (USSC) released new guidelines that reduced federal minimum sentencing guidelines for those convicted on charges related to crack cocaine. These new guidelines reduced the sentences of 12,000 inmates and were intended to address the overcrowded ...[read more]
June 3, 2011
by Zach Zagger
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Thursday rejected a prisoner's attempt to have new crack cocaine sentencing guidelines applied retroactively to reduce his sentence. The three-judge panel found that it could not infer congressional intent to apply the Fair Sentencing Act to prisoners ...[read more]
January 13, 2011
by Dwyer Arce
On January 13, 2009, the US Supreme Court ruled in Chambers v. United States that failure to report to prison did not constitute a "violent felony" for purposes of sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminals Act (ACCA). Petitioner Deondery Chambers pleaded guilty to being a felon in ...[read more]
August 4, 2010
by Torrey Hullum
Julie Stewart: "Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill to reduce the infamous 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses. The Senate approved the bill in March. Today, President Obama finished the job by signing the bill, ending a nearly ...[read more]
May 24, 2010
by Dwyer Arce
The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously in United States v. O'Brien that the question of whether a firearm is a machine gun must be proved to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt and is not a sentencing factor to be considered by the judge by a preponderance of the evidence. The court hel... ...[read more]
March 12, 2010
by Andrew Wood
Deborah Fleischaker: Last week, John Gramlich of the indispensable news site, stateline.org, reported on the political fallout in several states where policymakers have employed early prison release programs to combat overcrowded prisons and rising budget deficits. Several cash-strapped state... ...[read more]
July 14, 2009
by Andrew Morgan
The US House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday examined the effects of mandatory minimum sentences in advance of consideration of three proposed bills intended to provide more discretion to judges during sentencing. Representatives of the Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), the US Judicial ...[read more]
June 30, 2009
by Andrew Wood
Bill Piper and Ethan Nadelmann: US Attorney General Eric Holder's recent call for eliminating the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity and reforming mandatory minimum sentencing is a welcome development that reflects the growing momentum for sentencing reform on this issue.This momen... ...[read more]
January 13, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk
The US Supreme Court decided two cases Tuesday. The Court ruled in Chambers v. United States that failure to report to prison does not constitute a violent felony for purposes of sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminals Act (ACCA). Petitioner Deondery Chambers pleaded guilt... ...[read more]

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