Yesterday, the United States Sentencing Commission released a new report titled First Step Act of 2018 Resentencing Provisions Retroactivity Data Report. The data in this report represents information concerning motions for a reduced sentence which federal courts have granted pursuant to § 404 of the First Step Act through July 31, 2019.
The Commission’s data shows that 1,674 prisoners were granted § 404 sentence reductions. “[I]n 561 cases the court sentenced the offender to the length of time he or she had served to that date.” The average sentence reduction was 69 months in all other cases.
The First Step Act of 2018 was signed into law on December 21, 2018. Section 404 of the Act provides that any defendant sentenced before August 3, 2010—the effective date of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA)—who did not receive the benefit of statutory reductions in minimum-mandatory penalites under the FSA, is eligible for a sentence reduction as if § 2 and § 3 of the FSA were in effect at the time of sentencing. Section 2 of the FSA increased the quanity of crack cocaine necessary to trigger a minimum mandatory sentence from: (1) 5g to 28g (5-year minimum to 40-year maximum); and (2) 50g to 280g (10-year minimum to life-maximum). FSA § 3 elimiated the five-year minimum-mandatory for simple possesion of crack cocaine.
Information and training resources on the First Step Act, including podcasts and webinars, are on available on fd.org. If you have questions after reading the First Step Act and reviewing the materials, contact your FPD office, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.