Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Unanimous U.S. Sentencing Commission Vote To Apply Fair Sentencing Act Guidelines Retroactively

“I applaud the United States Sentencing Commission’s unanimous decision to give retroactive effect to federal sentencing guidelines changes implementing the Fair Sentencing Act, which Congress passed last year.  That historic legislation took important steps to reduce the disparity between sentences for crack cocaine offenses and those for powder cocaine offenses – a disparity that has disproportionately impacted African Americans.  Today’s courageous decision, which will help people sentenced under the unjust structure previously in place to reduce their sentences in cases where public safety is not at risk, will further the causes of fairness and justice and will also save the Federal Government millions of dollars in a time of budget crisis.”

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