A violent ex-convict charged with raping a Florida girl last month would have been in prison if not for a change in sentencing policy that has led to 500 shorter terms for other inmates in the federal court district including Jacksonville, reports the Florida Times-Union. James Clinton Gilmore was released from prison in March after his 12.5-year sentence for possession of crack cocaine was reduced to 10 years. That occurred after the U.S. Sentencing Commission corrected a disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences.
Gilmore, 30, had been in prison after being convicted of possession of crack and powder cocaine. He had previously been convicted of crimes including assault with a deadly weapon and battery. He was charged five months after his early release with raping a 13-year-old girl who was being watched by a friend. St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar said, “There’s a huge price to be paid when we put career criminals back on the street.” Federal defender Lisa Call, who represented Gilmore in his reduction request, said that “part of the problem is that nobody can predict the future. There was nothing I reviewed from the sentence he received [in the drug case] that would show he had an inclination to commit a violent offense.”