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: This FAQ should answer most of your questions. It is lengthy. Please read the entire document! - page 3 / 6





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The Commission estimates that 12,040 federal crack offenders are reductions. Prisoners are eligible to seek a sentence reduction if they:

to seek sentence

  • The retroactive amendment does not benefit people

convicted in state courts for state crimes.

The retroactive amendment does not benefit federal offenders whose cases did not involve crack (i.e., cases involving only methamphetamine, marijuana, powder cocaine, etc.).

If you were sentenced for a federal crack offense on or after November 1, 2010, you were sentenced under the temporary emergency amendment to the crack guidelines. The temporary amendment’s drug weights are identical to the drug weights in the retroactive amendment which means the retroactive amendment won’t reduce your sentence any further.

The retroactive guideline does not shorten mandatory minimum sentences for crack offenses. For example, a person who is


a five or 10-year mandatory minimum (without any additional time under

the sentencing guidelines)

benefit from the retroactive crack amendment. The amendment does not shorten the time a person is

spending on supervised release. If you are already out of federal prison and on supervised release, the retroactive amendment cannot help you get off of supervised release earlier.

The retroactive amendment does not shorten the time a person is spending in a halfway house. If you are already in a halfway house, you are likely to be out of the halfway house before the retroactive amendment goes into effect.

To find out if you or a loved one is eligible for a sentence reduction, contact the federal public defenders or the lawyer who helped you at sentencing.

Yes, if the prisoner meets all the other eligibility criteria. Please note, though, that the retroactive amendment does not change and cannot reduce the mandatory minimum sentences for certain gun convictions, such as convictions under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) or for being an armed career criminal.

Most likely no. Sentences for career offenders are not based on the amount of crack involved in the case. Instead, career offender sentences depend on the charge the person faced

and the statutory

punishment that charge carries. A separate sentencing guideline,

USSG § 4B1.1, controls career offender sentences. That guideline was not reduced. The

retroactive crack amendment does

change the career offender guideline in any way.

Nonetheless, if career offenders think they should benefit from the retroactive amendment, they

should contact a lawyer.



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