On July 9, 2009, a group of federal judges urged the US Sentencing Commission (USSC) to revise the calculations used to determine federal criminal sentences, calling them complicated and mechanical. A few months earlier, US Attorney General Eric Holder had called for a review of disparities between sentencing guidelines for powder and crack cocaine. An amendment to the guidelines in April 2008 had led to the reduction of sentences for over 3,000 inmates convicted of crack cocaine offenses. In December 2007, the USSC had unanimously voted to give retroactive effect to the amendment, which former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey unsuccessfully attempted to block in February 2008.
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