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FAMM Victory at the U.S. Supreme Court June 21, 2012

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , add a comment

Here’s an update from Julie Stewart, FAMM President

Great news! Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to end the 100:1 disparity in crack cocaine sentencing once and for all! In Dorsey v. United States (No. 11-5683) the Court ruled that everyone sentenced for crack cocaine offenses after the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA) gets the benefit of the new lower sentences the law created.

You may remember that crack cocaine defendants used to be sentenced under a 100:1 ratio between crack and powder cocaine. Congress changed the ratio to 18:1 when it passed the Fair Sentencing Act and on August 3, 2010, the FSA was signed into law.

Immediately, there was confusion about whether people who had committed a crack offense before that date but had not yet been sentenced were eligible to be sentenced under the lower ratio. This became known as the “pipeline” problem.

FAMM joined a brief to persuade the Court to rule the way they did and we’re thrilled that today’s terrific opinion means that “pipeline prisoners” (people who were sentenced after August 3, 2010 to an old crack sentence) will be entitled to ask the court for relief. We don’t know exactly how that will take place but those details will be forthcoming. In the meantime, celebrate this victory and if you know a “pipeline prisoner,” encourage that person to contact their attorney.

Savor the moment and stay connected to FAMM. Working together, we can make a difference!