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NACDL News: U.S. Sentencing Commission Votes to Reduce Drug Trafficking Sentences
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer
NACDL News columns.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission on April 10 took another step toward making federal drug sentences more reasonable. The agency approved an amendment that would reduce the guidelines level for most drug offenses by two levels, amounting to an 11-month sentence reduction, on average. Unless Congress rejects the “drugs-minus-2” amendment, which was approved as part of a larger package of amendments, the change would go into effect Nov. 1, 2014. While the lower offense levels would apply only prospectively, the Sentencing Commission also asked for public comment on whether this change should be applied retroactively. NACDL strongly supported the original amendment in its comprehensive comments, available on NACDL’s website, and intends to file comments supporting retroactivity.
“This reduction is a modest step towards a more rational and humane sentencing scheme, one that does not substitute cold calculations of drug quantity for full and robust judicial consideration of factors
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