View Full Version : Sentencing guidlines and crack retroactivity.

03-06-2011, 04:07 PM


In January 2011, the U.S. Sentencing Commission asked for the publics opinion on whether to reduce all federal drug sentencing guidelines by two base offense levels. FAMM calls this reduction ;all drugs minus two. If all drug guidelines are reduced by two levels, all drug sentences in the guidelines, widely criticized as too lengthy, will be lowered.
FAMM will urge the Commission to take immediate action on drugs minus two, but it is unlikely they will vote on this issue by May 1. That is the date by which the Commission has to announce what amendments they will be sending to Congress. Even so, the Commission has asked the public to comment by March 21.

What is all drugs minus two?
When Congress adopted mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, it used drug quantity to trigger those minimums (e.g., 5 grams of meth triggers a five-year mandatory minimum).
When the Commission created the drug sentencing table, it also used drug quantity to trigger guideline sentences. But the guidelines that are triggered by those same drug quantities are set above the mandatory minimum sentence (e.g., 5 grams of meth triggers a guideline sentence of 63-78 months #150; while the mandatory minimum for 5 grams of meth is 60 months). It gets worse, because the guidelines dont stop at the mandatory minimum levels but provide increasingly higher sentences to penalize greater quantities of drugs, thereby creating unnecessarily long sentences.

The Commission can lower all the drug guidelines by two levels and still incorporate the mandatory minimums. The Commission did just that when it adjusted crack sentences downward two levels in 2007, placing the mandatory minimum penalty, then 5 years for 5 grams of crack near the top of guideline range at level 24.

Who would benefit?
If the Commission proposes and passes a drugs minus 2 amendment, it will impact only federal drug offenders sentenced after Nov. 1 of the year the amendment goes into effect. The amendment would not benefit drug offenders sentenced before that date unless the Commission votes to make the amendment retroactive. FAMM is urging that the Commission vote to reduce drug sentences and to make reductions retroactive.

The Commission has asked for public comment on whether it should make the permanent crack amendment retroactive, so that it would apply to those people in federal prison serving guideline (not mandatory minimum) sentences for crack cocaine offenses. FAMM supports retroactivity.
If the Commission makes the permanent crack amendment retroactive, over 12,000 federal crack offenders sentenced under the guidelines who are currently in prison would become eligible to seek a sentence reduction.
The Commission is unlikely to vote on retroactivity before May 1. They are likely to vote on retroactivity sometime between May 1 and November 1, 2011. It is unclear if they will vote in favor of retroactivity. Because of that, it is important to write to the Commission and let them know you support retroactivity. The Commission has asked for public comment by March 21.
FAMM cannot provide legal advice, representation, referrals, research, or guidance to those who need legal help. Nothing on this form is intended to be legal advice or should be relied on as legal advice. If you feel that you need legal advice, you should speak with an attorney.

We need all do something about this to get our loves ones home and sooner so that our kids and family aren't destroyed. I bet there is a lot of people going thru alot right now cuz of the situations our loved ones are in if we would just all help each other we could make a change.

letter to judge

The Honorable Patti Saris, Chair
United States Sentencing Commission
One Columbus Circle, NE, Suite 2-500
Washington, D.C. 20002-8002

Dear Judge Saris:

I write to urge the Sentencing Commission to take two steps to make federal drug sentencing more just: first, make the crack cocaine guidelines retroactive. Second, lower all drug guidelines by two levels.

Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 to reduce harsh sentences for crack cocaine, sentences that were condemned as unfair, excessive, and a key contributor to racial disparity in sentencing. Accordingly, the Sentencing Commission changed the guidelines and now should make the crack cocaine guidelines retroactive. Thousands of defendants sentenced under the old crack guidelines remain in prison today serving sentences everyone agrees are unjustifiably long. Forcing these prisoners to serve sentences that Congress, the Commission and the President have soundly repudiated is simply wrong. Making the guideline changes retroactive would help to right a wrong and restore faith in our criminal justice system.

In general, federal drug sentences are too long and come at too high a cost to families, communities and taxpayers. Part of the problem is that the drug sentencing guidelines are higher than mandatory minimum drug sentences. There is no evidence that Congress intended that to be the case. The Commission should change the guidelines to reduce all drug sentences by two levels, as it did with crack cocaine sentences in 2007. The Commission should take this straightforward, simple and just step now.


03-09-2011, 07:40 AM
I want to send you a personal thank you, and all the men at fbop in forrest city arkansas, says thank you also!!! Im mailing my letter today!!!!!! Im gonna get other family members to do the same. :)

03-09-2011, 04:06 PM
im going to send the letter tomorrow, i thank you in behave all the men in fairton nj and is true what you said is time the our love one come home