46,000 Prisoners Eligible for Fairer Drug Sentences!

Post Date: July 18, 2014

Today in Washington, DC, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted in favor of making new federal drug guideline sentence reductions retroactive – with no limitations!

In other words, we did it! We got full retroactivity of the drug guideline amendment! Because of your help, 46,000 federal drug offenders sentenced before November 1, 2014, will now be eligible to file a motion in federal court asking for a shorter sentence. The average sentence reduction for those who qualify will be two years!

I am thrilled with this outcome, especially because we did it together. With your help, we generated most of the 65,000 letters the U.S. Sentencing Commission received about this issue. And more than two dozen FAMM supporters were present with me in the hearing room when the Commission voted in favor of full retroactivity. All of us were overjoyed at the result.

Those of you with loved ones in federal prison may be asking, “Now what?” Here’s what happens next:

  • Remember: not all federal drug offenders sentenced before November 1, 2014, will be eligible for a sentence reduction, and the reductions are not automatic.
  • While courts can begin considering and granting motions for sentence reductions starting on November 1, 2014, prisoner releases will not begin until November 1, 2015. Why the delay? The Commission is giving courts and probation officers a chance to handle the big influx of motions for sentence reductions before probation officers must turn their attention to supervising the prisoners upon release.
  • To find out if they are eligible for a retroactive sentence reduction, your incarcerated loved ones should contact their lawyers or the federal public defenders in the districts where they were convicted. Since we don’t know all the facts of each person’s case, FAMM cannot tell you whether your incarcerated loved one will be eligible for a sentence reduction. We also can’t refer you to attorneys or give you a sample motion or legal advice, sorry.
  • Check back at our website, www.famm.org, for updated answers to frequently asked questions about how retroactivity will work going forward.

Today was a great day for justice! It would not have happened without your letters, emails, and support of FAMM. To keep supporting us and keep the movement for better sentences going, you can make a donation to FAMM today by clicking here. We’re so grateful for your help!

Here’s to fairer sentences for 46,000!

My very best,

Julie

Julie Stewart
Founder and President
Families Against Mandatory Minimums