July 18, 2014: United States Sentencing Commission Voted for Delayed Retroactivity of Drug Guidelines Amendments

The United States Sentencing Commission voted on July 18, 2014 to allow the November 2014 Amendments to the federal drug sentencing guidelines to be applied 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. However, the USSC voted for a delayed retroactivity where no order reducing a sentence can be effective prior to November 1, 2015, Each individual can apply to the court on or after November 1, 2014 and should do so, but the earliest a federal inmate CAN be released under the new amendments is November 1, 2015. This does raise an interesting question. Since we all know that the Guidelines are advisory and the courts are not required to strictly follow them as if they were mandatory, would it not be possible for a judge to order release of an inmate prior to November 1, 2014?

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