On Friday, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to make newly instituted guidelines, which lowered prison sentences for most federal drug offensives retroactive in full to all prisoners serving time under the current guideline umbrella. Consequently, around 50,000 drug offenders currently serving sentences will have an opportunity to apply to have a judge review their sentences using the new standards in place.
The entire body of the Commission voted in favor to make the decision retroactive, but it isn’t an automatic coup for prisoners, because many could be held up until Nov. 1, 2015. Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice has been monitoring the machinations leading up to the decision, and Mr. Holder offered a statement applauding the Commission for their vote.