Federal Judge Persuaded to Exercise Fairness in Drug Sentencing
On May 22nd 2009, the Defendant, who pled guilty to distributing 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack cocaine), received what a Federal Judge called a “lenient” sentence based upon arguments made by Attorney Todd D. Greenberg at Sentencing. The Defendant, pursuant to the United States Sentencing Guidelines, faced a sentence range of 70 to 87 months. In a Pre-Sentence Memorandum, Mr. Greenberg pointed out to the Court that on April 29th, 2009, at a United States Senate Hearing entitled “RESTORING FAIRNESS TO FEDERAL SENTENCING: ADDRESSING THE CRACK-POWDER SENTENCING DISPARITY”, an Assistant Attorney General stated that the sentencing disparity (a person selling crack cocaine would receive the same mandatory minimum sentence as someone selling a hundred times as much powder cocaine) was “difficult to justify based on the facts and science, including evidence that crack is not an inherently more addictive substance than powder cocaine.” Further, it was pointed out to the Judge that a review of the legislative history behind the adoption of the 100 to 1 ratio was that Congress sought to focus the five and ten year mandatory minimum penalties on “serious” and “major” traffickers, those responsible for delivering very large quantity of drugs. During sentencing, Mr. Greenberg argued that this Defendant was not a major trafficker and that fairness in drug sentencing, based upon the Justice Department April 29th, 2009 statement, would require a substantially less prison term than the Guideline range. The Federal Judge agreed and sentenced the Defendant to one year and one day instead of a minimum sentence of 5 years and 10 months. By being up to date on current events occurring in the United States Senate regarding Hearings on Crime and Drugs, the Attorneys at Addabbo & Greenberg were able to bring the most current legal argument before the sentencing Judge which resulted in a substantially less jail sentence.
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