federal sentencing

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DOJ Plan: Cut 20K Inmates' Jail Time by 23 Months

Holder-endorsed proposal would reduce nonviolent offenders' sentences

(Newser) - Some 9% of the federal prison population could see their sentences reduced by an average of 23 months thanks to a new Justice Department proposal endorsed by Eric Holder. The US Sentencing Commission voted in April to reduce drug sentences for nonviolent offenders in the future; this proposal, presented to... More »

Holder to Ax 'Draconian' Drug Sentences

For low-level offenders not associated with gangs or drug rings

(Newser) - Eric Holder is set to today to reveal what the Washington Post is calling the planned "cornerstone of the rest of his tenure": a revamp of federal prison policy. And one part of the overhaul—a big change to sentencing for low-level drug offenders—is getting a great deal... More »

Holder Backs Release of 5,500 Crack Offenders

Proposal would correct vast crack/cocaine sentencing gap

(Newser) - Eric Holder today told the US Sentencing Commission that he supports a proposal to release thousands of federal prisoners convicted on crack-related offenses. Until Congress changed them last year, federal sentencing guidelines gave crack users—who are predominantly poor and black—much harsher sentences than powder cocaine users. Now, Holder... More »

Congress Cuts Racist Crack Sentencing Disparity

Felony amount now only 18 times higher for powder cocaine

(Newser) - Congress quietly eased up the federal sentencing guideline on crack cocaine yesterday, addressing one of the more glaring disparities of the drug war. In what critics have called a racist double-standard, possessing a mere 5 grams of crack is considered a felony, compared to 500 grams for powdered cocaine. The... More »

Dem Donor, Ponzi Schemer Hsu Gets 24 Years

(Newser) - Norman Hsu is a man of many hats, but the Hillary Clinton fundraiser extraordinaire, Ponzi schemer, and onetime fugitive has been sentenced to wear them in prison for the next 24 years. While significantly less than the 30 years prosecutors had asked for, Hsu’s lawyer tells the Wall Street ... More »

Supremes: Judges Can Shorten Crack Sentences

Court sides with judicial discretion

(Newser) - The Supreme Court ruled today that federal judges can use discretion to order shorter prison sentences in crack cocaine crimes, to lessen a disparity with sentencing for powdered cocaine. It was a win for civil rights advocates, who have long argued that sentencing guidelines call for longer terms in crimes... More »

Sentence Cuts In Store for 19,500 Crack Convicts

Federal commission mulls rule change

(Newser) - The federal panel that sets sentencing guidelines for judges may decide as soon as tomorrow to cut at least 2 years off the sentences of 19,500 inmates convicted of using crack, the LA Times reports. New rules introduced this month equalize crack and powdered cocaine sentences, and tomorrow will... More »

New Standards Reduce Crack Cocaine Terms

Federal effort tries to bring parity to drug sentencing guidelines

(Newser) - Crack cocaine offenders will receive shorter prison sentences under new federal guidelines, which replaced rules that treated a gram of crack like 100 grams of powder cocaine. The rules introduced yesterday reduce the average sentence to 8 years, 10 months, the Times reports, and may reflect an effort to restore... More »

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