Approximately 50,000 people convicted of
federal drug offenses can have their sentences reduced under the "drugs minus two"
amendment passed by the U.S. Sentencing Commission in July 2014.
Get Your Prison Time Reduced by an Average of Two Years
"Drugs minus two" refers to lowering a person's punishment
by two levels under the sentencing guidelines. As Adam Klasfeld reports
for Courthouse News Service, this will likely reduce sentences by roughly
two years per person, on average. The amendment falls under USSG §1B1.10
and was passed by unanimous vote.
Release Date is November 2015
Eligible people will not be able to get out of prison immediately. Though
courts can begin to grant motions for release as of November 2014, the
Sentencing Commission set the actual release date to November 2015, to
give the Bureau of Prisons and police agencies time to get ready.
Retroactive Effect for Nonviolent Drug Offenses Involving Possession or Sale
Jerry Cox, outgoing head of the National Association of Criminal Defense
Lawyers (NACDL), wrote in an email newsletter that "drugs minus two"
already applies to future drug offense cases.
"What they did on Friday," Cox wrote in reference to the Sentencing
Commission, "was simply apply this fairer and more rational thinking
to those who had already been sentenced and have been serving draconian
sentences, at great public expense, in America's federal prison system."
File a Petition for Early Release
Cases will be reviewed individually, which means that every person who
wants early release will need to file a petition. Judges and probation
officers will review peoples' petitions and case files, according
to Klasfeld, and will ultimately "decide on their fates on a case-by-case
Call a Lawyer for Help with Filing a Petition
Whether you consult a trial lawyer with Suzuki Law Offices in Phoenix or
another experienced criminal defense lawyer elsewhere, you should consider
getting help with filing a petition for early release.
We can help you make your case.
If your friend or family member was convicted of a nonviolent drug offense
(like possession or sale) and is currently serving time in federal prison, use
our online form to request a free consultation.