July 14, 2014: Vote Scheduled for Retroactivity of Drug Guidelines Amendments

The United States Sentencing Commission has scheduled a vote for July 18, 2014 as to whether the November 2014 Amendments to the federal drug sentencing guidelines will apply retroactively. The new Amendments reduce the drug sentencing guidelines by 2 points and can result in a sentence reduction of 6 months to 2 years for many inmates. Although we at National Prison & Sentencing Consultants are confident that the Commission will in fact vote for applying the new guidelines retroactively, the question is whether it will apply generally, i.e. to all drug offenders currently incarcerated in federal prison or to a limited and specified group of inmates. The Department of Justice is arguing for “limited retroactivity” meaning only those inmates with no aggravating sentencing factors, enhancements and limited criminal histories. We believe that it would more appropriate to allow judges to be judges and permit individual inmate to apply to a judge and allow the judge to consider an inmate’s complete background, offense and offender characteristics and prison record. Of course, we will be awaiting the vote scheduled for this Friday, July 18, 2014 and will provide updates on our website and to our subscribers.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call National Prison and Sentencing Consultants at 615-696-6153 or email us at help@nationalprisonconsultants.com