All shit, a modern Emancipation Proclamation has jumped off by way of the US Sentencing Commission! I’m tired & do not feel like being very original with my response, but I did want to follow up here. In general, this is good news but I guess I am concerned about the wave of cons that are about to hit the streets (hard), some literally, & some figuratively.

How many of you will have cousins coming home early. Me first; I do. Lil’ Man Man & Big Stank. I hope them niggas do not come a knocking at my door!
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Commission makes crack sentencing changes retroactive

(Source | Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted Tuesday to retroactively reduce the penalties for using and selling crack cocaine, making thousands of federal inmates eligible for early release, some as soon as March.

Despite Justice Department warnings against releasing thousands of criminals, the commission voted unanimously to allow inmates to seek reduced sentences if they were convicted under drug laws passed in the 1980s. Those laws have come under criticism from civil libertarians and many judges for treating crack cocaine offenses more harshly than powder, which has resulted in stiffer penalties for blacks.

Tuesday’s vote, which ultimately could affect some 19,500 federal prisoners serving time for crack convictions, came a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that judges may deviate from the strict sentencing guidelines developed during the “war on drugs.” The two decisions amount to a repudiation of federal law-enforcement policies and a return of power to judges in dispensing justice to defendants in federal courts.

The potentially massive reprieve would be unprecedented. More than 2,500 inmates would be eligible in the first year. No other single rule in the two-decade history of the Sentencing Commission has had the potential to affect so many inmates. The numbers, which amount to 10 percent of all federal prisoners, dwarf even the grants of presidential clemency afforded draft resisters and conscientious objectors after the Vietnam War….
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Cocaine Sentencing Decision at a Glance (Source | AP)

A look at the U.S. Sentencing Commission decision to allow federal inmates convicted of crack cocaine offenses to apply for reduction in their prison terms:

Who:

  • Inmates serving sentences for crack cocaine crimes. An estimated 19,500 inmates — out of more than 36,000 crack cocaine convicts — could be eligible for reduced sentences.
  • Eighty-six percent of federal inmates convicted of crack cocaine crimes are black.

How:

  • An inmate, federal prison officials or a federal judge can start the process. All applications are reviewed by a judge, who has final say on whether to reduce an inmate’s sentence.

Limits:

  • A two-year reduction in prison time is the maximum most inmates can expect.

When:

  • The decision takes effect on March 3, 2008.
  • Nearly 10 percent of the eligible inmates could be released on the effective date.
  • About 23 percent of the qualified inmates could be released in the next year.
  • Almost half the inmates (47.3 percent) could be released by the end of 2010.
  • Two of every three eligible inmates could be freed from prison by the end of 2012.