How Will the Courts Resentence Crack Cocaine Offenders?

In light of yesterday's decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to make the reduction in federal sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine offenses retroactive, many are wondering just how these reductions will be effected.

The Sentencing Commission has answered this in part by modifying U.S.S.G. 1B1.10. Here's the new version. [Note: changed to user friendly link]

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    I have been told (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 04:00:00 PM EST
     that the sentencing commission has a list of approximately 19,000 inmates who may benefit from the revised guideline, broken down by district. Thus far the SC has not released this list to anyone.  

       The expectation is that the names will be provided to the FPD in each district and those offices will take the lead in ensuring that the motions are presented to the courts in prioritized fashion so that those whose release could be immediate or very imminent if the court decides to reduce the sentence will be processed first.in some districts depending on caseloads and staffing it is possible that some cases will be assigned to panel attorneys if necessary.

      At this point, that is all as I said "expectation" but it really makes the most sense. The probation officers should have no  role in this as that is not their purpose and they would have no  data as to the release dates or effect of the revised guideline. At most they would prepare revised presentence reports on cases broght before through the courts by other means.

      It is not "automatic" review as the revised guideline does not mean every crack defendant is going to get a sentence reduction first because even by mechanical operation not all will benefit and even if applying the revised guideline would benefit a particular defendant the court will not be required to grant a sentence reduction. that's why lawyers would appear to have to be involved.

    Something's Missing (none / 0) (#1)
    by JDB on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 01:09:47 PM EST
    Maybe I'm missing something, but the amendment changing the crack guideline is 706.  The listed amendments in the PDF there end at 702.  So, technically, this doesn't apply to the crack guideline, tho' I'm sure that's an oversight.

    On a related note, what of the criminal history changes?  Were they made retroactive as well?  Those are in 709.

    Nevermind (none / 0) (#2)
    by JDB on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 02:00:06 PM EST
    The Commission's user-friendly version of the amended section is here and includes amendment 706 in the list of those affected.  No go on the criminal history amendment, apparently.

    thanks I swapped the link (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 03:26:30 PM EST
    your's is better.

    Is this envisioned as an automatic review (none / 0) (#4)
    by virginia cynic on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 03:42:40 PM EST
     by fed parole/probation officers?, the court on its own motion?, or will the ct reappoint fed pd  or cja attys and  clients w/ retained will ask their own attys to apply for the reduction?

    OT (none / 0) (#6)
    by Claw on Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 04:00:50 PM EST
    OT:  Nothing about the latest DNA exoneree?  John J. White was released two days ago for a 1979 rape he didn't commit.  As usual, eyewitness testimony played a large part in ruining this man's life.