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Sentencing Commission Report on Crack Cocaine Sentence Reductions 2008

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U.S. Sentencing Commission
Preliminary Crack Cocaine Retroactivity Data Report

December 2008 Data

Introduction
As part of its ongoing mission, the United States Sentencing Commission provides
Congress, the judiciary, the executive branch, and the general public with data extracted and
analyzed from sentencing documents submitted by courts to the Commission.1 Data is reported
on an annual basis in the Commission’s Annual Report and Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing
Statistics.2
The Commission also reports preliminary data for an on-going fiscal year in order to
provide real-time analysis of sentencing practices in the federal courts. Since 2005, the
Commission has published a series of quarterly reports that are similar in format and
methodology to tables and figures produced in the Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics
or in the Commission’s Final Report on the Impact of the United States v. Booker on Federal
Sentencing.3 The quarterly reports contain cumulative data for the on-going fiscal year (i.e., data
from the start of the fiscal year through the most current quarter).
This report is another in the Commission's efforts to provide analysis of federal
sentencing practices. It provides data concerning recent court decisions considering motions to
reduce the length of imprisonment for certain offenders convicted prior to November 1, 2007 of
offenses involving crack cocaine.
On May 1, 2007, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 994(a) and (p), the Commission submitted to
Congress amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines that became effective on November 1,
2007. One of those amendments, Amendment 706, modified the drug quantity thresholds in the
Drug Quantity Table of §2D1.1 so as to assign, for crack cocaine offenses, base offense levels
corresponding to guideline ranges that include the statutory mandatory minimum penalties.
Crack cocaine offenses for quantities above and below the mandatory minimum threshold
quantities similarly were adjusted downward by two levels. The amendment also included a
mechanism to determine a combined base offense level in an offense involving crack cocaine
and other controlled substances.
On December 11, 2007, the Commission voted to approve Amendment 713 which
amended §1B1.10 of the guidelines to include Amendment 706, as amended by Amendment 711,
in the list of amendments that apply retroactively. The Commission voted to make Amendment
713 effective on March 3, 2008. As a result, some incarcerated offenders are eligible to receive a
reduction in their sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) pursuant to Amendment 706.
1

In each felony or Class A misdemeanor case sentenced in federal court, sentencing courts are required to submit
the following documents to the Commission: the judgment and commitment order, the statement of reasons, the plea
agreement (if applicable), the indictment or other charging document, and the presentence report. See 28 U.S.C. §
994(w).
2

See the Commission’s website, www.ussc.gov, for electronic copies of the 1995-2007 Annual Report and
Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics.
3

See www.ussc.gov/bf.htm for an electronic copy of the Commission’s Final Report on the Impact of United States
v. Booker on Federal Sentencing.

This report provides information on all cases reported to the Commission in which the
court considered a motion to reduce a sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) for an offender
convicted of an offense involving crack cocaine. The data in this report represents information
based on court documentation received and coded at the U.S. Sentencing Commission by
December 8, 2008. Users of this information are cautioned that the data are preliminary only and
subject to change as the Commission receives, analyzes, and reports on additional cases.
In particular, the reader is cautioned with respect to drawing conclusions based on data
concerning the denial of motions for sentence reduction pursuant to the crack cocaine
amendment, as the judicial districts are employing various methods to prioritize the review of
these motions. For example, in many districts, contested motions have not been decided by the
court. Consequently, the data the Commission has received to date concerning cases in which the
motion for a sentence reduction was denied may not be representative of the decisions that
ultimately may be made in all districts or the nation as a whole.

Table 1
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF APPLICATION OF RETROACTIVE CRACK COCAINE AMENDMENT BY DISTRICT

District
TOTAL
Eastern Virginia
Middle Florida
Western Virginia
South Carolina
Western Texas
Eastern Missouri
Northern Florida
Southern Florida
Eastern Louisiana
Northern Texas
Eastern Texas
Middle Georgia
Southern Georgia
Southern Alabama
Southern Texas
Central Illinois
Western North Carolina
Middle Pennsylvania
Southern New York
Northern Indiana
Southern West Virginia
Western Louisiana
Nebraska
Northern Ohio
Northern West Virginia
Western Missouri
Southern Illinois
Eastern Pennsylvania
Maryland
Connecticut
Southern Mississippi
Southern Ohio
Northern Illinois
Kansas
Northern Alabama
Eastern North Carolina
District of Columbia
Minnesota
Western New York
Western Tennessee
Eastern Tennessee
Eastern Arkansas
Puerto Rico
Southern Iowa
Eastern Michigan
Northern New York

N
17,168
1,113
1,065
800
741
567
479
430
400
396
396
395
356
355
342
339
307
280
276
275
254
250
250
247
243
235
227
225
211
208
203
197
193
189
186
183
179
172
172
165
165
156
149
146
144
135
129

Granted
N
%
12,119
70.6
679
620
511
601
401
421
201
234
186
231
335
285
187
234
255
139
188
180
118
205
192
154
207
211
230
137
219
190
153
139
179
174
176
184
97
141
163
147
106
121
122
102
60
80
130
107

61.0
58.2
63.9
81.1
70.7
87.9
46.7
58.5
47.0
58.3
84.8
80.1
52.7
68.4
75.2
45.3
67.1
65.2
42.9
80.7
76.8
61.6
83.8
86.8
97.9
60.4
97.3
90.0
73.6
68.5
90.9
90.2
93.1
98.9
53.0
78.8
94.8
85.5
64.2
73.3
78.2
68.5
41.1
55.6
96.3
82.9

Denied
N
%
5,049
29.4
434
445
289
140
166
58
229
166
210
165
60
71
168
108
84
168
92
96
157
49
58
96
40
32
5
90
6
21
55
64
18
19
13
2
86
38
9
25
59
44
34
47
86
64
5
22

39.0
41.8
36.1
18.9
29.3
12.1
53.3
41.5
53.0
41.7
15.2
19.9
47.3
31.6
24.8
54.7
32.9
34.8
57.1
19.3
23.2
38.4
16.2
13.2
2.1
39.6
2.7
10.0
26.4
31.5
9.1
9.8
6.9
1.1
47.0
21.2
5.2
14.5
35.8
26.7
21.8
31.5
58.9
44.4
3.7
17.1

SOURCE: U.S. Sentencing Commission, Preliminary 2008-2009 Datafiles, USSCFY08-USSCFY09.

District

Eastern Kentucky
Massachusetts
Eastern Wisconsin
Eastern New York
Western Wisconsin
Colorado
Western Michigan
Northern Iowa
Northern Georgia
Maine
Northern Mississippi
Western Kentucky
Middle North Carolina
Western Pennsylvania
New Jersey
Eastern California
New Hampshire
Western Arkansas
Middle Alabama
Southern Indiana
Western Oklahoma
Northern Oklahoma
Rhode Island
Alaska
Central California
Nevada
Western Washington
Middle Louisiana
New Mexico
Northern California
Hawaii
Middle Tennessee
Vermont
Oregon
Utah
Eastern Oklahoma
Delaware
Eastern Washington
Southern California
Montana
Virgin Islands
Idaho
Arizona
South Dakota
Wyoming

N

128
125
122
117
113
110
106
106
106
104
101
95
93
89
86
86
85
78
77
71
62
56
55
49
48
47
46
38
34
30
28
25
23
19
16
15
13
12
10
8
4
3
2
1
1

Granted
N

69
97
90
66
89
59
46
106
61
60
101
63
79
81
84
85
46
51
71
39
62
28
42
29
40
41
46
32
34
30
25
25
23
18
15
12
13
5
10
4
4
2
2
1
1

%

53.9
77.6
73.8
56.4
78.8
53.6
43.4
100.0
57.5
57.7
100.0
66.3
84.9
91.0
97.7
98.8
54.1
65.4
92.2
54.9
100.0
50.0
76.4
59.2
83.3
87.2
100.0
84.2
100.0
100.0
89.3
100.0
100.0
94.7
93.8
80.0
100.0
41.7
100.0
50.0
100.0
66.7
100.0
100.0
100.0

Denied
N

59
28
32
51
24
51
60
0
45
44
0
32
14
8
2
1
39
27
6
32
0
28
13
20
8
6
0
6
0
0
3
0
0
1
1
3
0
7
0
4
0
1
0
0
0

%

46.1
22.4
26.2
43.6
21.2
46.4
56.6
0.0
42.5
42.3
0.0
33.7
15.1
9.0
2.3
1.2
45.9
34.6
7.8
45.1
0.0
50.0
23.6
40.8
16.7
12.8
0.0
15.8
0.0
0.0
10.7
0.0
0.0
5.3
6.3
20.0
0.0
58.3
0.0
50.0
0.0
33.3
0.0
0.0
0.0

Table 2
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF APPLICATION OF
RETROACTIVE CRACK COCAINE AMENDMENT
BY JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

Circuit
TOTAL

N
17,168

Granted
12,119

Denied
5,049

FOURTH CIRCUIT

3,899

2,774

1,125

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT

3,314

1,990

1,324

FIFTH CIRCUIT

2,679

1,874

805

EIGHTH CIRCUIT

1,603

1,252

351

SEVENTH CIRCUIT

1,281

957

324

SIXTH CIRCUIT

1,246

961

285

SECOND CIRCUIT

912

559

353

THIRD CIRCUIT

679

552

127

FIRST CIRCUIT

515

305

210

TENTH CIRCUIT

480

395

85

NINTH CIRCUIT

388

337

51

D.C. CIRCUIT

172

163

9

SOURCE: U.S. Sentencing Commission, Preliminary 2008-2009 Datafiles, USSCFY08-USSCFY09.

Table 3
APPLICATION OF RETROACTIVE CRACK COCAINE AMENDMENT BY
YEAR OF ORIGINAL SENTENCE1

Fiscal
Year

Total
N

Total
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989

16,789
272
2,267
2,303
2,048
1,761
1,628
1,249
1,023
934
730
574
445
407
294
274
215
155
85
81
44

Granted
N
11,875
89
1,640
1,736
1,465
1,291
1,165
903
732
653
525
382
297
280
192
155
133
101
54
49
33

%
70.7
32.7
72.3
75.4
71.5
73.3
71.6
72.3
71.6
69.9
71.9
66.6
66.7
68.8
65.3
56.6
61.9
65.2
63.5
60.5
75.0

Denied
N
4,914
183
627
567
583
470
463
346
291
281
205
192
148
127
102
119
82
54
31
32
11

1

%
29.3
67.3
27.7
24.6
28.5
26.7
28.4
27.7
28.4
30.1
28.1
33.4
33.3
31.2
34.7
43.4
38.1
34.8
36.5
39.5
25.0

Of the 17,168 cases, 379 were excluded from this analysis because the case cannot be matched with an original case in the
Commission's records.
SOURCE: U.S. Sentencing Commission, Preliminary 2008-2009 Datafiles, USSCFY08-USSCFY09.

Table 4
ORIGIN OF GRANTED MOTION FOR SENTENCE REDUCTION DUE TO
RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF CRACK COCAINE AMENDMENT1
Defendant
CIRCUIT
TOTAL

Director BOP2

Court

N
10,986

N
8,917

%
81.2

N
0

%
0.0

N
2,069

%
18.8

D.C. CIRCUIT

142

139

97.9

0

0.0

3

2.1

FIRST CIRCUIT

299

248

82.9

0

0.0

51

17.1

SECOND CIRCUIT

528

342

64.8

0

0.0

186

35.2

THIRD CIRCUIT

465

459

98.7

0

0.0

6

1.3

FOURTH CIRCUIT

2,533

2,025

79.9

0

0.0

508

20.1

FIFTH CIRCUIT

1,600

1,153

72.1

0

0.0

447

27.9

SIXTH CIRCUIT

874

754

86.3

0

0.0

120

13.7

SEVENTH CIRCUIT

932

904

97.0

0

0.0

28

3.0

1,200

1,112

92.7

0

0.0

88

7.3

NINTH CIRCUIT

266

240

90.2

0

0.0

26

9.8

TENTH CIRCUIT

387

371

95.9

0

0.0

16

4.1

1,760

1,170

66.5

0

0.0

590

33.5

EIGHTH CIRCUIT

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
1

Of the 12,119 cases in which the court granted a motion for a sentence reduction due to retroactive application of the crack cocaine amendment,
1,180 were excluded from this analysis because the information received by the Commission prevented a determination of motion origin.
Additionally, courts may cite multiple origins for a motion; consequently, the total number of origins cited generally exceeds the total number of
cases. In this table, 10,986 origins were cited for the 10,939 cases.

2

In six cases, documents provided to the Commission indicated that the Bureau of Prisons Director made a motion. Those cases appear to be clerical errors.

SOURCE: U.S. Sentencing Commission, Preliminary 2008-2009 Datafiles, USSCFY08-USSCFY09.

Table 5
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF OFFENDERS CONSIDERED
FOR SENTENCE REDUCTION DUE TO APPLICATION OF
RETROACTIVE CRACK COCAINE AMENDMENT
Denied1

Granted
Race/Ethnicity
White
Black
Hispanic
Other
Total

Total
748
11,255
946
112
13,061

N
690
10,215
853
105
11,863

%
5.8
86.1
7.2
0.9

N
58
1,040
93
7
1,198

%
4.8
86.8
7.8
0.6

Citizenship
U.S. Citizen
Non-Citizen
Total

12,228
689
12,917

11,091
628
11,719

94.6
5.4

1,137
61
1,198

94.9
5.1

12,307
840
13,147

11,178
768
11,946

93.6
6.4

1,129
72
1,201

94.0
6.0

30

30

Gender
Male
Female
Total
Average Age
30

1

The 1,201 offenders represented in this column are those whom the Commission previously identified as eligible
to seek a sentence reduction but whose petition for a reduction was denied by the court. Of the remaining 3,848
cases in which the court denied the request for a sentence reduction, 2,590 were excluded from this analysis
because the offender was not previously identified as eligible to seek a sentence reduction for one or more reasons
(see 'Analysis of the Impact of the Crack Cocaine Amendment If Made Retroactive' (October 3, 2007)
available at www.ussc.gov). Of the remaining 1,258 cases, 216 were excluded from this analysis because the
offender had been identified as released or projected to be released prior to November 1, 2007 and so was
excluded from the Commission's prior analysis of eligible offenders, 334 were excluded from this analysis
because the offender was not sentenced for a drug offense, 573 were excluded from this analysis because crack
cocaine was not involved in the offense, and 135 were excluded from this analysis because the reason for the
court's decision cannot yet be determined.
SOURCE: U.S. Sentencing Commission, Preliminary 2008-2009 Datafiles, USSCFY08-USSCFY09.

Table 6
SELECTED SENTENCING FACTORS FOR OFFENDERS WHO WERE CONSIDERED FOR
SENTENCE REDUCTION DUE TO APPLICATION OF RETROACTIVE CRACK COCAINE
AMENDMENT

All Cases

Granted

Denied1

%

%

%

Weapon
Weapon Specific Offense Characteristic
Firearms Mandatory Minimum Applied

23.4
8.9

23.1
8.5

26.9
12.8

Safety Valve

10.5

11.0

5.9

Guideline Role Adjustments
Aggravating Role (USSG §3B1.1)
Mitigating Role (USSG §3B1.2)
Obstruction Adjustment (USSG §3C1.1)

9.0
3.3
5.4

8.1
3.1
5.3

17.5
5.3
6.5

Sentence Relative to the Guideline Range
Within Range
Above Range
Below Range

69.6
0.4
30.0

70.9
0.3
28.8

57.0
1.2
41.9

Criminal History Category
I
II
III
IV
V
VI

23.8
13.4
23.1
16.6
9.9
13.2

24.4
13.4
23.3
16.8
9.8
12.3

17.4
13.5
21.4
14.5
11.2
21.9

1

The 1,201 offenders represented in this column are those whom the Commission previously identified as eligible to seek a sentence reduction
but whose petition for a reduction was denied by the court. Of the remaining 3,848 cases in which the court denied the request for a sentence
reduction, 2,590 were excluded from this analysis because the offender was not previously identified as eligible to seek a sentence reduction for
one or more reasons ( see 'Analysis of the Impact of the Crack Cocaine Amendment If Made Retroactive' (October 3, 2007) available at
www.ussc.gov). Of the remaining 1,258 cases, 216 were excluded from this analysis because the offender had been identified as released or
projected to be released prior to November 1, 2007 and so was excluded from the Commission's prior analysis of eligible offenders, 334 were
excluded from this analysis because the offender was not sentenced for a drug offense, 573 were excluded from this analysis because crack
cocaine was not involved in the offense, and 135 were excluded from this analysis because the reason for the court's decision cannot yet be
determined.
SOURCE: U.S. Sentencing Commission, Preliminary 2008-2009 Datafiles, USSCFY08-USSCFY09.

Table 7
POSITION OF WITHIN RANGE SENTENCES FOR OFFENDERS GRANTED A
SENTENCE REDUCTION DUE TO APPLICATION OF RETROACTIVE
CRACK COCAINE AMENDMENT

1

ORIGINAL SENTENCE

CURRENT SENTENCE

N

%

N

%

TOTAL

4,947

100.0

4,947

100.0

Guideline Minimum

3,242

65.5

3,350

67.7

Lower Half of Range

830

16.8

625

12.6

Midpoint of Range

247

5.0

369

7.5

Upper Half of Range

309

6.2

289

5.8

Guideline Maximum

319

6.4

314

6.3

1

Of the 12,119 cases in which a motion for retroactive application of the crack cocaine amendment was granted, 6,439 received a sentence within the guideline range at

both their original and current sentencing. Of these, 1,492 cases were excluded from this analysis due to one or more of the following reasons: the case is missing
sentence length or guideline relevant statutory information from the new sentence (1,145), the case is missing sentence length or guideline relevant statutory
information from the original sentence (281), the new sentence had a guideline minimum and maximum that were identical (140) or the original sentence had a guideline
minimum and maximum that were identical (22).

SOURCE: U.S. Sentencing Commission, Preliminary 2008-2009 Datafiles, USSCFY08-USSCFY09.

Table 8
DEGREE OF DECREASE IN SENTENCE DUE TO RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF
CRACK COCAINE AMENDMENT1

N

Average
Current
Sentence
in Months

Average
New
Sentence
in Months

10,755

137

114

24

17.0

D.C. CIRCUIT
District of Columbia

103
103

128
128

109
109

19
19

14.5
14.5

FIRST CIRCUIT
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island

257
60
62
44
56
35

108
126
131
89
79
109

89
104
108
72
65
92

19
22
23
17
13
17

17.4
16.8
17.2
19.5
17.3
16.1

SECOND CIRCUIT
Connecticut
New York
Eastern
Northern
Southern
Western
Vermont

469
118

113
102

95
84

18
18

16.0
17.4

57
76
106
96
16

107
134
130
99
97

89
113
110
85
78

18
21
20
14
18

17.1
15.5
15.0
14.8
18.6

THIRD CIRCUIT
Delaware
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
Eastern
Middle
Western
Virgin Islands

458
12
81

123
136
110

102
110
92

21
26
18

16.5
18.8
16.3

157
141
67
0

143
112
113
--

118
93
95
--

25
19
18
--

16.4
16.7
16.5
--

2,497
118

142
131

118
110

25
22

17.0
16.4

138
78
118
586

135
148
147
144

112
121
124
118

23
26
23
26

16.4
17.4
15.1
17.6

618
486

157
153

129
129

28
24

17.3
15.5

173
182

80
125

66
102

15
23

18.5
18.7

CIRCUIT
District
TOTAL

FOURTH CIRCUIT
Maryland
North Carolina
Eastern
Middle
Western
South Carolina
Virginia
Eastern
Western
West Virginia
Northern
Southern

Average Decrease
in Months From
Current Sentence

Average Percent
Decrease From
Current Sentence

Table 8 (continued)
DEGREE OF DECREASE IN SENTENCE DUE TO RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF
CRACK COCAINE AMENDMENT

N

Average
Current
Sentence
in Months

FIFTH CIRCUIT
Louisiana
Eastern
Middle
Western
Mississippi
Northern
Southern
Texas
Eastern
Northern
Southern
Western

1,700

137

114

24

17.1

176
24
136

133
78
145

115
67
120

18
11
25

13.6
14.8
17.1

87
160

99
122

81
101

18
21

17.8
17.4

333
220
204
360

126
170
152
138

102
140
126
115

24
30
26
23

18.8
17.9
16.2
17.3

SIXTH CIRCUIT
Kentucky
Eastern
Western
Michigan
Eastern
Western
Ohio
Northern
Southern
Tennessee
Eastern
Middle
Western

892

116

97

19

16.3

62
62

104
118

86
100

18
18

16.5
15.0

91
45

129
86

106
76

24
10

17.3
13.2

208
170

101
124

84
104

17
20

17.7
16.0

119
22
113

119
128
130

102
110
108

17
18
22

14.4
14.6
17.1

SEVENTH CIRCUIT
Illinois
Central
Northern
Southern
Indiana
Northern
Southern
Wisconsin
Eastern
Western

861

138

114

24

17.5

124
150
215

160
125
150

132
105
123

28
20
27

17.1
16.3
17.7

197
27

128
176

106
146

22
30

17.1
16.1

84
64

124
122

101
96

23
25

18.7
20.7

1,106

127

105

22

16.7

80
51

141
101

116
85

25
16

17.9
16.7

88
76
122

133
161
149

110
135
123

24
27
26

17.6
16.3
17.1

392
98
199
0
0

113
120
130
---

94
99
108
---

18
21
23
---

16.2
16.8
16.9
---

CIRCUIT
District

EIGHTH CIRCUIT
Arkansas
Eastern
Western
Iowa
Northern
Southern
Minnesota
Missouri
Eastern
Western
Nebraska
North Dakota
South Dakota

Average
New
Sentence
in Months

Average Decrease
in Months From
Current Sentence

Average Percent
Decrease From
Current Sentence

Table 8 (continued)
DEGREE OF DECREASE IN SENTENCE DUE TO RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF
CRACK COCAINE AMENDMENT

N

Average
Current
Sentence
in Months

NINTH CIRCUIT
Alaska
Arizona
California
Central
Eastern
Northern
Southern
Guam
Hawaii
Idaho
Montana
Nevada
Northern Mariana Islands
Oregon
Washington
Eastern
Western

297
26
2

136
144
--

114
126
--

22
18
--

15.8
13.8
--

34
74
27
8
0
18
2
4
39
0
13

158
132
101
150
-125
-102
148
-110

129
111
87
131
-104
-90
124
-93

29
22
14
19
-21
-12
24
-17

18.3
16.2
13.4
13.8
-16.3
-13.1
15.5
-16.9

5
45

117
141

107
113

10
28

9.2
17.2

TENTH CIRCUIT
Colorado
Kansas
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Eastern
Northern
Western
Utah
Wyoming

349
55
165
33

142
151
124
130

117
123
103
107

25
28
21
23

17.2
17.6
16.6
17.4

12
25
45
13
1

145
194
183
118
--

117
162
148
98
--

27
32
35
20
--

19.4
16.3
18.9
16.2
--

1,766

162

132

30

17.7

71
70
229

166
135
188

137
115
153

30
20
35

17.4
14.1
18.1

584
169
222

159
227
132

128
184
110

31
43
22

18.7
18.2
16.7

218
54
149

127
174
158

102
142
135

25
32
23

19.3
17.9
14.1

CIRCUIT
District

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
Alabama
Middle
Northern
Southern
Florida
Middle
Northern
Southern
Georgia
Middle
Northern
Southern

Average
New
Sentence
in Months

1

Average Decrease
in Months From
Current Sentence

Average Percent
Decrease From
Current Sentence

Of the 17,168 cases, 379 were excluded from this analysis because the case cannot be matched with an original case in the Commission's records and 4,914
were excluded from this analysis because the court denied the motion for a sentence reduction. Of the remaining 11,875 cases, 1,120 were excluded from this analysis
because the offender was sentenced to time served and the resulting term of imprisonment could not be determined from the records received by the Commission.
SOURCE: U.S. Sentencing Commission, Preliminary 2008-2009 Datafiles, USSCFY08-USSCFY09.

Table 9
REASONS GIVEN BY SENTENCING COURTS FOR DENIAL OF MOTION 1

REASONS

N

%

606
509
97

10.8
9.1
1.7

3,620
1,341
1,244
502
177
174
121
55
6
0

65.0
24.1
22.3
9.0
3.2
3.1
2.2
1.0
0.1
0.0

Denied on the merits
Offender has already benefitted from departure or variance
18 U.S.C § 3553(a) factors
Protection of the public
Post-sentencing or post-conviction conduct
Offender subject to guideline reduction at original sentencing

859
404
150
131
106
68

15.5
7.3
2.7
2.4
1.9
1.2

No reason provided/Other reason
Other
No reason provided

484
260
224

8.6
4.6
4.0

Offense does not involve crack cocaine
Case does not involve crack cocaine
Sentence is determined by a non-drug guideline
Offender not eligible under §1B1.10
Statutory mandatory minimum controls sentence
Career Offender or Armed Career Criminal provisions control sentence
Case involved more than 4.5 kg of crack cocaine
Base offense level does not change (due to multiple drugs)
Guideline range does not change
Original sentence has been served
Statutory maximum sentence is less than applicable guideline range
Base offense level is 12 or lower
Base offense level is 43

1

Courts may cite multiple reasons for denying a motion; consequently, the total number of reasons cited generally exceeds the total
number of cases. In this table, 5,569 reasons were cited for the 5,049 cases. Of the 224 cases in which the court did not give a reason
for the denial, 134 were previously identified as ineligible by the Commission for sentence reduction ( see 'Analysis of the Impact
of the Crack Cocaine Amendment If Made Retroactive' (October 3, 2007) available at www.ussc.gov). Of those 134 cases, a statutory
mandatory minimum controlled the sentence in 25 cases, in 17 cases the quantity of crack cocaine in the case exceeded 4.5 Kg,
in 16 cases the sentence was determined by a non-drug guideline, in nine cases no change in the guideline range was found, in 27
cases crack cocaine was not involved, in 27 cases Career Offender or Armed Career Criminal provisions controlled the sentence, in
six cases the offender was predicted to have been released, in three cases the Bureau of Prisons informed the Commission that the
offender was no longer serving time for the instant offense, in one case the base offense level was 12 or lower, in two cases the
base offense level was 43 and in one case there was no record on file with the Bureau of Prisons.
SOURCE: U.S. Sentencing Commission, Preliminary 2008-2009 Datafiles, USSCFY08-USSCFY09.

 

 

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