Crack Retroactivity Updates and Information
On June 30, 2011, the U.S. Sentencing Commission made the 2011 crack cocaine guideline amendments retroactive! The Commission's vote in favor of retroactivity was unanimous. The Commission received over 43,000 letters commenting on retroactivity, many of which were from FAMM supporters. Thank you for your support! This victory for justice is yours!
To find out how the amendment works, how to request a sentence reduction, and who might benefit, read our answers to frequently asked questions about the 2011 Retroactive Crack Guideline Amendment.
You should know:
- The crack amendment lowered crack guideline sentences only. It did not change mandatory minimum crack sentences.
- Only the changes to the crack sentencing guidelines are retroactive. The Fair Sentencing Act's changes to mandatory minimum crack sentences are not retroactive. Only Congress can make those changes retroactive.
- The retroactive amendment went into effect until November 1, 2011.
- The retroactive amendment only applies to people convicted in federal (not state) courts and sentenced before November 1, 2010.
- The retroactive amendment only helps people sentenced for federal crack offenses.
- Sentence reductions are not automatic. The person must request one from the court that sentenced him/her by filing a motion under 18 U.S.C. sec. 3582(c)(2). No one is guaranteed a sentence reduction.
- FAMM cannot help prisoners file motions for retroactive sentence reductions.
- To find legal help, contact the Federal Public Defender in the district where you or your loved one was convicted, or talk to the lawyer who helped you at sentencing.
- The pre-FSA mandatory minimums will apply to people seeking sentence reductions based on the new retroactive guideline amendment.