Dorsey v. United States and Hill v. United States

Case:   Dorsey v. United States (11-5683) and Hill v. United States (11-5721)

FAMM’s Amicus Brief

The Court’s Opinion

Summary of Case:

In these two cases, the Court decided that so-called “pipeline” defendants — federal crack offenders who committed their crimes before the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA) was signed into law, but were sentenced for those crimes after the Act had gone into effect — could be sentenced under the new law’s fairer 18-to-1 ratio instead of the old law’s 100-to-1 ratio.  The problem only affects people facing mandatory minimums – guideline defendants sentenced after the FSA became law get the lower crack sentence, no matter when they committed their crime.

In our brief, FAMM highlighted, in a very specific way, just how unjust it would be let the old law apply to pipeline defendants. We were able to use a story we got from a member of FAMM who responded to our email request for pipeline cases. The Court’s decision will produce fairer punishments for hundreds of “pipeline” defendants.

What it means:

Federal crack offenders who committed their crimes before the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA) was signed into law –August 3, 2010 — but were sentenced for those crimes after that date can now be sentenced under the new law’s fairer 18-to-1 ratio instead of the old law’s 100-to-1 ratio.