November 1, 2011 is the effective date of the new, retroactive crack cocaine guideline amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines.
For about 12,000 federal crack offenders nationwide, that could mean lots of good news.
Here's a Columbus Dispatch article describing how the retroactive amendments will give some federal crack offenders in Ohio a chance to request a sentence reduction and (if the judge grants the request) go home earlier:
More than 360 prison inmates who have gone through U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Ohio are receiving welcome news: Their prison terms might be shortened.
Beginning Nov. 1, an estimated 12,000 crack-cocaine offenders nationwide will be eligible for reduced sentences because of a retroactive change in federal sentencing guidelines.
Steven Nolder, federal public defender for the Southern District, said 369 prisoners have been identified as potential candidates for early release. He estimates that 200 to 250 actually will be eligible....
The commission found that about 52 percent of those eligible for sentence reductions are in 11 states, mostly in the South. The average reduction would be 37 months — from 13 years, eight months, to 10 years, seven months.To refresh your memory about crack guideline changes, visit FAMM's page (full of helpful answers to FAQs) on the subject, or check out the U.S. Sentencing Commission's answers to FAQs.
If you or your loved one are a federal crack offender and think you might benefit, be sure to contact an attorney or the Federal Public Defender's Office in the district where the conviction occurred to ask for help filing a motion for a sentence reduction.