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New crack jail time guidelines may be retroactive

The Fair Sentencing Act reduces penalties for crack cocaine offenses in order to reduce the disparity with powder cocaine penalties

By Jessica Gresko
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Some prisoners already serving time should benefit from a new law that lowers sentences for crack cocaine offenses, but only if their crimes did not involve weapons and they do not have lengthy arrest records, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday.

Holder made the statements while testifying before the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which is considering whether to retroactively apply lower sentencing guidelines resulting from the new law. As many as 12,000 inmates could see their sentences reduced by an average of three years.

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