What Is the 2010 Crack-Cocaine Amendment?
Previously, on November 1, 2007, the sentencing commission amended the crack-cocaine guidelines when it lowered the penalties for most crack-cocaine crimes by two levels. On December 11, 2007, the commission voted to make the amended guidelines retroactive to cases sentenced before November 1, 2007, with an effective date of March 3, 2008. The commission also significantly changed the retroactive application of amendments. Through an amendment that became effective on May 1, 2008 (Amendment 715), the commission further modified the sentencing guidelines by revising the way in which combined offense levels are determined in cases involving crack cocaine as well as other drugs. Amendment 715, which was also made retroactive, provides that 1 gram of cocaine base equals 20 kilograms of marijuana and provides for a two-level reduction in the combined offense level for cases involving more than one type of drug unless certain exceptions apply.