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Retroactive Application of New U.S. Sentencing Guidelines for Crack Cocaine

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The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 Applies New Standards to Crack Cocaine Sentences- Means Many Sentences Will Have to be Revisited and Changed

By Attorney Elisabeth Pasqualini, Criminal Law Division Leader, Harrisburg, PA

On June 30, 2011, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to give retroactive effect to its proposed permanent amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines that implements the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.  Retroactivity would take effect on November 30, 2011, unless Congress acts to disapprove.

The purpose of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 was to "recognize the fundamental unfairness of federal cocaine sentencing policy..."  However, not every offender will be entitled to a reduction.  The Commission estimates that approximately 12,000 offender may be eligible for a sentence reduction.  The average sentence reduction will be 37 months or just over 3 years.

If you or someone you know was sentenced recently for a crack cocaine possession or distribution offense, contact our office today for a free assessment of your case.  You or someone you know may be entitled to a substantial reduction in their sentence, saving years of incarceration.  Contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us.

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