Tuesday, November 1 saw the beginning of a change in sentencing for drug crimes involving crack cocaine; specifically, lessening future sentences for those convicted of possessing and dealing the drug, and shortening sentences for those already in jail for the crimes. The change comes from the Fair Sentencing Act that was passed by Congress in 2010, which lessened the sentencing for crack cocaine so that it would be similar to powder cocaine. This past summer, the U.S. Sentencing Commission decided to apply the change of sentencing to those who had already been convicted as well.
Inmates are now eligible for sentence reduction and almost 1,900 prisoners could see immediate release due to the change in sentencing, according to USA Today. In total, the U.S. Sentencing Commission estimates that around 12,000 inmates could see their sentences reduced and an average of three years taken off prison time.
The changes affect crack cocaine cases that are prosecuted on a federal level, with most states already having less severe punishments for the drug, and also eliminates the previously mandatory five-year minimum sentence for first time possession of crack.
With the change in sentencing now in effect, thousands of prisoners nationwide have begun sending orders for early release due to time served. For many inmates and families across the country, November brings the hope of being reunited much earlier than they ever thought possible.
Drug crimes and the punishments for them can bring serious consequences in California and across the nation, and even when punishments are reduced, a drug conviction can still destroy a person’s life. If you or one of your loved ones is facing drug charges in Southern California, you will need excellent legal representation to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. The Southern California drug crime defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel Kann fight for every client they represent. Contact our offices today for a free consultation at (310) 954-9356.
By Daniel Kann on November 4, 2011