From my reporter’s notebook for The Final Call this week:
The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously June 30 to apply Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 Amendment to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Retroactively.
This means that on November 1, 2011, when the amendment takes effect, approximately 12,000 offenders may be eligible to seek reductions in their sentences.
The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced the disparate sentencing ratio for crack/powder cocaine, which disproportionately affected Blacks, from 100 to 1 to 18 to 1.
Unless Congress acts to disapprove the amendment, the Commission estimates that the average sentence reduction for eligible offenders will be approximately 37 months.
I will be signing onto a conference call with national civil and human rights groups in about 45 minutes so we'll have more on the US Sentencing Commission’s decision and reactions from national organizations, including the ACLU and NAACP, in an upcoming article in The Final Call!