Times More Drug Offenders Than Obama Did: tiny fraction of the more than 95,000 federal prisoners serving years — sometimes decades — for drug crimes



Times More Drug Offenders Than Obama Did

New, retroactive sentencing guidelines begin to kick in.

Robert Shipp was 21 when a federal judge sentenced him to die in prison for selling crack. For five months in the mid-1990s, Shipp had acted as a “night shift supervisor” in a small-scale Chicago distribution ring. Because he was held personally responsible for the amount of crack moved during that period — 10.29 grams — his sentence was mandatory: life. Even as U.S. District Judge Marvin Aspen handed down Shipp’s sentence, he noted that the sentencing guidelines were “not, in my view, realistic in terms of the sentence for the offense, and in my view they are unfair.”

Last week, President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent federal drug offenders whose “punishments didn’t fit the crime,” as Obama said in a video released by the White House. But those people…

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