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SPECIFIC GUIDELINE / STATUTORY SENTENCING ISSUES

 

The resources below are designed to further an understanding of sentencing under particular statutory provisions, sentencing guidelines, or claims for relief.  Many of the links provide ideas for how to argue against the application of a particular statutory provision or guideline in a given case. For resources that critically examine the history and basis of the most frequently encountered sentencing guidelines see the Deconstruction page.

Click on the headings below to access links to documents.

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  • FAQs: 2014 Amendments to USSG § 1B1.10: Retroactivity of "Drugs Minus 2" (Amendment 782) and Sentence Reductions in Cases Involving Mandatory Minimums and Substantial Assistance
    (by Denise Barrett and the Federal Defender Retroactivity Task Force on Drugs Minus 2)
    This FAQ is a general primer on two amendments that the U.S. Sentencing Commission made to USSG §1B1.10, affecting motions for sentence reductions filed under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). First, the Commission made retroactive amendment 782, which changed the threshold amounts in the drug quantity tables at USSG §§2D1.1 and 2D1.11. A special limiting instruction accompanies the amendment, delaying the effective date until November 1, 2015. Second, the Commission clarified that the starting point for calculating a reduction comparable to the substantial assistance reduction given at the original sentencing (or Rule 35) is the bottom of the amended guideline range, not the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.

  • Sample Standing Order of Appointment in Re: Retroactive Application of Amendment 782

  • USSG § 1B1.10: Public Safety and Post-Sentencing Conduct
    (by Sentencing Resource Counsel for the Federal Public and Community Defenders)
    When ruling on a 3582 motion the court must consider the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and the “nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that may be posed by a reduction in the defendant’s term of imprisonment.” The court may also consider the defendant’s post-sentencing conduct. This paper provides tips on investigating these issues and resources that may help show why a reduction in the term of imprisonment for your client does not pose a serious enough danger to any person or the community for the court to deny relief or not give a full reduction.