This bill would allow some nonviolent federal inmates to seek shorter sentences.
It would accomplish this by retroactively applying the Fair Sentencing Act to federal prisoners who were already sentenced and serving time when that law was signed in 2010. The Fair Sentencing Act narrowed longstanding disparities in drug sentencing policy. Prior to its passing, you needed to be caught with 100 times more powder cocaine than crack cocaine to earn the same mandatory minimum sentence. (Even after that reform, crack is still punished 18 times more harshly.)
This bill would would also reduce several
other drug- and firearm-related mandatory minimum sentences, and these
changes would retroactively apply to current inmates. Particularly of
note, it would lower the current mandatory sentence of life without
parole for offenders with three federal drug felonies, to a mandatory
minimum of 25 years.
It also expands judges’ ability to use a "safety valve," allowing them to show leniency to some repeat drug offenders.