2007/12/11

good news for crack



WASHINGTON - The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to allow some 19,500 federal prison inmates, most of them black, to seek reductions in their crack cocaine sentences. The commission, which sets guidelines for federal prison sentences, decided to make retroactive its recent easing of recommended sentences for crack offenses. Roughly 3,800 inmates could be eligible for release from prison within a year after the March 3 effective date of Tuesday's decision. Federal judges will have the final say whether to reduce sentences.

The commissioners said the delay would give judges and prison officials time to deal with public safety and other issues.

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