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Today in legal history...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

US Sentencing Commission retroactively reduced drug sentences
Clay Flaherty at 12:00 AM ET

On April 24, 2008, the US Sentencing Commission announced that over 3,000 prison inmates convicted of crack cocaine offenses had been granted early release under an amendment to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. These figures followed the unanimous decision by the commission in December 2007 to give retroactive effect to an amendment that decreased the disparity between sentences for powder and crack cocaine. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which officially reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses.

Learn more about the laws governing sentencing guidelines, and the controversy over cocaine offenses from the JURIST news archive.

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