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IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS AT THE SENTENCING COMMISSION

Sentencing Commission Amends Guidelines: On April 15, 2016 the Sentencing Commission voted to amend the sentencing guidelines, making some significant changes in immigration policy, as well as changes to the child pornography, compassionate release, conditions of supervision, and animal fighting guidelines.  Read more on the amendments in the National Sentencing Resource Counsel Project's Summary of 2016 Amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines.  For the full text, see the Reader-Friendly Version of Amendments.  Absent Congressional action, the amendments will take effect on November 1, 2016.

Sentencing Commission Adopts Amendment to the "Crimes of Violence" Definition in Guideline § 4B1.2:  Among other changes, the amendment strikes burglary of a dwelling from the crimes of violence definition and deletes the residual clause. View all of the changes to § 4B1.2 in this Official Text of Crime of Violence Amendment.  The new amendment will take effect August 1, 2016.  For more on the Amendment and § 4B1.2(a) generally see the following analyses by National Sentencing Resource Counsel:

Practice Guide to Amendments to "Crime of Violence" Definition in USSG § 4B1.2(a)

Offenses Moved from the Commentary to the Enumerated Offense Clause at USSG § 4 B1.2, Effective August 1, 2016

Guideline § 4B1.2 Commentary Offenses

National Sentencing Resource Counsel Project's Summaries of Prior Amendments:
2015 Summary
2014 Summary
2013 Summary

Defender Recommendations to Sentencing Commission: The Federal Defender community frequently submits written comments to the USSC on a variety of matters, including proposed amendments to the guidelines. These submissions, which may provide ideas for challenging guideline sentences, can be accessed on our Defender Recommendations to Sentencing Commission page.