In 2010, the Fair Sentencing Act (“FSA”) increased the quantities triggering mandatory minimums for crack cocaine offenses and directed the U.S. Sentencing Commission (“USSC”) to make similar reductions to the crack cocaine guideline ranges. After the USSC made these changes retroactive, offenders sentenced in accordance with the previous scheme sought sentence reductions. Due to the circuit courts’ differing interpretations of the eligibility requirements for a reduction, similarly situated offenders who avoided a mandatory minimum for performing substantial assistance to authorities have experienced different outcomes. This Note argues that courts should consistently hold such offenders eligible for retroactive sentencing reductions because this interpretation comports with the text of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and furthers the policy goals behind the FSA, the USSC, and the criminal justice system in general.
Catherine DiVita, “Cracking” the Code: Interpreting Sentence Reduction Requirements in Favor of Eligibility for Crack Cocaine Offenders Who Avoided a Mandatory Minimum for Their Substantial Assistance to Authorities, 56 B.C.L. Rev. 1143 (2015), https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol56/iss3/8