On May 1, 2007, the United States Sentencing Commission (the "Commission") submitted to Congress amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines that became effective November 1, 2007. Amendment 9, which pertains to offenses involving cocaine base ("crack"), had the effect of lowering the guideline sentencing range for certain categories of offenses and offenders.
The crack cocaine amendment adjusted downward by two levels the base offense level assigned to each threshold quantity of crack cocaine listed in the Drug Quantity Table in §2D1.1. The amendment assigned (for crack cocaine offenses) base offense levels corresponding to guideline ranges that include the statutory mandatory minimum penalties for cocaine base.
On December 10, 2007, in Kimbrough v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the crack/powder disparity ratio of 100:1 was improper and that sentencing courts were entitled to consider the effect of the disparity in determining the appropriate sentence. Thereafter, the U.S. Sentencing Commission statutorily authorized the November 1, 2007 Amendment to be retroactively applied. This application immediately entitled almost 1000 individuals sentenced in the U.S. District Court in South Carolina and currently serving active sentences to a resentencing hearing.
Greg Harris and Johnny Gasser are both former federal prosecutors with extensive experience in interpreting federal drug sentencing guidelines. The Law Firm of Harris & Gasser has already been retained by a number of individuals who were sentenced in federal court in South Carolina. Greg Harris and Johnny Gasser are actively pursuing sentencing reductions in those cases and are available for consultation.