Criminal Justice

RELEASE: Victory for Fairness for Beneficiaries of First Step Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the Supreme Court’s ruling today in Concepcion v. United States, Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra issued the following reaction:

This welcome ruling follows the plain text of the First Step Act and provides individuals convicted of crack-cocaine crimes with the full benefit of the Act’s broad language.

As we argued in our brief, by instructing courts to “impose a reduced sentence as if” the Fair Sentencing Act were in effect when a covered offense was committed, the First Step Act directs courts to apply the same procedures and substantive law that would have applied if the defendant’s original sentencing had taken place after enactment of the Fair Sentencing Act. In accordance with this straightforward reading of the law, the Court today held that sentencing courts must at least consider any intervening changes in facts or law raised by a criminal defendant in a resentencing pursuant to the First Step Act. 

We are gratified that the Court got it right today.

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Resources:

CAC case page in Concepcion v. United States: https://www.theusconstitution.org/litigation/concepcion-v-united-states/

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Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history. Visit CAC’s website at www.theusconstitution.org.

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