Supreme Court Takes Up Case Of Adjusting Cocaine Sentences


Federal judge Alan Bloch of Pittsburgh, a tough sentencer, gave Percy Dillon a 27-year term for selling crack and powder cocaine even though the judge believed the federal sentencing guidelines in effect at the time were too harsh, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Dillon later got a four-year reduction but said it wasn’t enough. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the case to decide how far judges can go in adjusting drug sentences under current law.

The Justice Department argues that federal judges should not have the “unlimited discretion to make sentence adjustments [in crack] proceedings.” Thus far, 23,000 defendants have sought reductions and 15,000 have been granted, resulting in an average decreased prison time of 25 months, the government said.

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