Sentencing relief for inmates affected by law changes

One of the unfortunate consequences of the so-called “tough on crime” politics over the last several decades is the hundreds of thousands of offenders who received extensive federal prison sentences of first-time offenses, drug crimes and other non-violent charges.

Finally, relief is on the way.

The United States Sentencing Commission has adopted a new set of amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, effective November 1, 2023, which allow for early release or sentence reductions for inmates serving time for offenses where the laws have since changed.

In other words, if you or someone you know was convicted for a law that has changed, you might be eligible for a sentence reduction. Contact federal criminal defense attorney Robert M. Helfend at 800-834-6434 to review your case for free.

Understanding the sentencing guidelines and USSC’s role

The USSC’s mandate includes ensuring fair, consistent sentencing across the federal criminal justice system. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are a critical tool in this effort, offering a standardized approach to sentencing while allowing for judicial discretion.

Key aspects of the amendment

This amendment addresses the issue of inmates serving sentences for actions that are no longer criminalized or are now penalized differently. It standardizes the approach across all U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, ensuring a uniform application of justice.

Now, no matter where you are in the United States, you can appeal to have your sentence reduced if the law you were convicted under has changed.

Significance of the changes

This change is a major step towards rectifying instances where individuals are serving disproportionate sentences due to evolving legal standards. It aligns the punishment more closely with current legal perspectives.

How to get help

For individuals potentially affected by this change, it is crucial to seek expert legal advice. Contacting Robert M. Helfend at 800-834-6434 for a free consultation can provide clarity on how these changes may apply to your case.

Published November 10, 2023.