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Retroactive Federal Drug Sentence Reductions

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Last week, the United States Sentencing Commission voted to retroactively cut federal prison sentences for drug crimes.  The Commission voted to retroactively decrease the drug table by two offense levels for all drug types.  The result is that approximately 50,000 people who are currently incarcerated in the federal prison system for drug crimes could be eligible for a reduction of their sentence by an average of about 2 years.  Provided Congress takes no action to nullify the Commission’s vote, federal courts can begin granting motions for sentence reductions on November 1, 2014.  However, the Commission delayed the actual release date for inmates to November 1, 2015 in order to provide the courts with time to consider motions and to provide the Federal Bureau of Prisons and other agencies with time to prepare for the upcoming changes.

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