U.S. Sentencing Commission Votes to Lower Federal Drug Sentences

Post Date: April 11, 2014

Yesterday, another important step was taken to improve federal drug sentences!  In a unanimous vote, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to lower the drug sentencing guidelines by two levels, which will result in sentence reductions of 11 months, on average!  The Commissioners will send this new amendment to Congress on May 1st and if Congress doesn’t kill it, it will become law on November 1st.

During the meeting, several of the Commissioners mentioned that the 21,000 letters they received in support of reducing the drug guidelines had an impact on their decision.  I smiled knowingly, confident that most of those letters came from FAMM families who know how to make their voices heard!  Great job!

The sentence reduction, which we refer to as “drugs minus two,” lowers by two levels the Drug Quantity Table federal judges use to calculate sentences.  Although this is an important change in the sentencing guidelines, mandatory minimum sentences are not affected.  In other words, if a defendant’s drug quantity triggers a five-year mandatory minimum sentence, he will still get five years.

Where this change really makes a difference is if a defendant does not face a mandatory minimum sentence or is so far above the mandatory minimum that his sentence could be lowered.  For instance, currently if a defendant had 1.5 kilos of methamphetamine he would be sentenced at level 34 to 151 months.  With this guideline change, he would be sentenced at level 32 to 121 months.  His sentence would be 30 months lower. 

The big question is: WILL THIS GUIDELINE CHANGE BE MADE RETROACTIVE?  The answer is – we don’t know.  The Commissioners agreed to consider the amendment for retroactivity. We expect them to hold a hearing in June where we will testify and urge them to apply the lower drug guidelines to those already in prison.  They are well aware of how important this is to prisoners and their families and they will soon be asking for letters from the public about retroactivity.  We will tell you when to send them.  I want to inundate the Commission with twice as many letters as they received for this first vote!  To do that, we need your help.

I’ll be asking for your help very soon, so stay tuned!

Best,

Julie 

13 Responses to “U.S. Sentencing Commission Votes to Lower Federal Drug Sentences”

    • n [rma

      If God can forgive who are we to set judgement we live in a stressful world and so~e of us self medicate ourself after all it took 40 years to get 5 dollars more an hour on min wage and while we waited patiently for that the big companys took over noone gave a care about that baby killers and baby murders everyone thinks you can reform so their time is less drugs is a sickness baby rapist is a freakness anything that creeps and attacks the weak is a freakness we the people of the usa have lost all importance in right from wrong that we are not free we are being held captive and lost all importence in what living and learning in the constitution that our 4 fathers laid out 4 us I think it is time to stand up and be heard

      Reply
  1. Ralph Wilson Sr.

    I agree to this and it will be a great thing. People make mistakes and need to be given a second chance. I pray that the ones that make decisions will come to the right one. Thanks for your time.

    Reply
  2. Becky

    I support this 100 percent!! People make mistakes give them a second chance .

    Reply
  3. Judy

    I support this act so that fathers, mothers, and children can be reunited. The entire family suffers when a loved one is in prison. They are not being rehabilitated they are getting behind in the world and will have a harder time fitting back into society.

    Reply
  4. Lavette Johnson

    I support this movement. Sentences need to be lowered these people need an opportunity to have a second chance.

    Reply
  5. Sean

    I support this 100%! The money we spend on housing these non-violent drug offenders, could be saved and put to better use with our schools and educational system etc… Cut them loose.

    Reply
  6. Jenny Roscoe

    I think this is great news. I am being held on federal drug charges and this will help me and my family have a second chance at a great life together. Way to go FAMM!!!

    Reply
  7. Sharhonda L. Cofer

    I support this movement wholeheartedly. People deserve second chances. Just think, God grants many chances for us to get things right.

    Reply
  8. Melodye A Colombo

    This is so wonderful and a blessing.im reading this a will study this.my son i need him home .iwill do all i can.please keep me posted

    Reply
  9. Gloria

    I am for this act in support of the many African American fathers who were ripped away from their wives and children on drug distribution charges. In some cases the sale of drugs where used to supplement the offenders income to support his family.

    Reply
  10. Aidee de Santiago

    I believe we all deserve a second chance and there is a lot of families broken because of this and kids suffering without a father do people make mistakes yes we all do but at the end only

    Reply

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