Sentencing Appeals- Federal Drug Trafficking

On April 10, 2014, the United States Sentencing Commission met publicly and voted to reduce the sentencing guidelines for the majority of federal drug trafficking offenses. It also voted to commence a study of the potential impact of making the sentencing reductions retroactive and will consider the issue as required by statute. The vote was unanimous to lower the base offense levels in the Drug Quantity Table across the various drug categories. Under the amendment, the drug guidelines would remain connected to statutory minimum penalties. By the Commission’s estimate, 70% of defendants in federal drug trafficking cases would qualify for the amended standard, therefore decreasing their sentences by an average of 17%, or eleven months.