Independence Day festivities began early for thousands of inmates, after the U.S. Sentencing Commission today voted to let reduced penalties for crack cocaine apply retroactively to prisoners already serving time for drug crimes.
Here’s the report on the vote from WSJ’s Gary Fields and click here for earlier LB coverage about the government’s ongoing efforts to address the disparate sentences long levied against crack defendants, in comparison to other cocaine users.
Today’s vote drew criticism from law enforcement and some Republicans in Congress, WSJ reports.
Sentencing Commission research estimates that 12,040 offenders sentenced between Oct. 1, 1991, and Sept. 30, 2010, are eligible to seek reduced sentences.
About one-third of the group would be eligible for release, if approved, by Nov. 1, 2012. The action will go into effect Nov. 1 unless Congress stops it.
Thousands of Inmates Serving Time for Drug Crimes May Win Early Release
Thu, 30 Jun 2011 18:56:20 GMT