Supreme Court Rules New Drug Sentencing Law Should Apply to Crack Cocaine Sentences

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that a new federal law reducing the required minimum prison sentence for drug convictions involving crack cocaine applies to those who were convicted before the law was passed, but not sentenced until after it was passed.


The law, known as the Fair Sentencing Act, went into effect in August 2010. Among other things, it reduces the required prison terms for those convicted of possessing or selling crack cocaine to more closely match the required terms for those convicted of possessing or selling powder cocaine under federal law. The disparity in sentencing has resulted in many people facing longer sentences than others merely due to the form the cocaine involved was in, even if the amounts were approximately the same.

The case, decided by the Supreme Court, involved two men convicted of crack cocaine-related charges in 2007 and 2008, but who were not sentenced until after the Fair Sentencing Act went into effect in 2010. Despite the new law, they were sentenced to longer prison terms under the old guidelines. The Court, however, held that they should be sentenced under the new guidelines, overturning a 19th-century legal rule that would have prevented the more lenient rules from applying.

Facing felony drug charges can be overwhelming, but you do not have to do it alone. The experienced Colorado Springs felony drug defense attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can help. For a free, confidential case evaluation, call us today at (719) 475-2555.

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