April 20, 2014

New Order Issued Regarding Retroactive Application of Amendments to the Crack Cocaine Sentencing Guidelines

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado issued General Order 2011-8 on September 19, 2011.

Pursuant to the provisions of The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, the Federal Public Defender for the District of Colorado is appointed to represent any defendant previously determined to have been entitled to appointment of counsel and who is not otherwise represented, to determine whether or not that defendant may be eligible for a reduction of sentence as a result of the revised base offense levels for crack cocaine. The Federal Public Defender will also present any motions or applications for reduction of sentence should the need arise.

If the Federal Public Defender determines that a defendant, who was previously represented by retained counsel or a Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel attorney, is potentially eligible for a reduction of sentence, the Federal Public Defender will notify the defendant and their prior counsel. If the defendant is financially unable to retain counsel or the CJA panel attorney is no longer available to provide representation or wishes to decline representation, the Federal Public Defender will be appointed to represent the defendant. If such an appointment would cause a conflict of interest, a CJA panel attorney will be appointed instead.

The United States Probation Office is authorized under the order to disclose the Presentence Investigation Report to the counsel of any defendant who might be eligible for a reduction of sentence. The Clerk’s Office will notify the Federal Public Defender of all pro se motions to reduce sentence relating to the retroactive crack cocaine amendment.

All motions and pleadings seeking a sentence reduction or opposing such a reduction are to be filed in the original criminal proceeding. If the sentencing judge in the original proceeding is no longer an actice judge in the District of Colorado, the case will be reassigned on a random basis.

Click here to read the full order from the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.

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