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August 2011

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USSC Votes For Retroactivity


The U.S. Sentencing Commission has voted to give retroactive effect to its proposed permanent amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines that implements the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. (See the June 2011 TTB for the Judiciary’s position on retroactivity and a description of the amendments.) Retroactivity of the amendment will become effective on November 1, 2011, unless Congress acts to disapprove the amendment. It is estimated, based on fiscal year 2010 sentencing data, that approximately 12,000 offenders may be eligible to seek a sentence reduction. The average sentence reduction for eligible offenders will be approximately 37 months. The average sentence for these offenders, after reduction, will remain about 10 years.