June 25, 2018

Tenth Circuit: Fair Sentencing Act Does Not Apply Retroactively To Initial Sentences Imposed Before FSA’s Effective Date

The Tenth Circuit published its opinion in United States v. Lucero on Monday, April 15, 2013.

Christopher Lucero appealed the district court’s denial of his motion to reduce his sentence, which he filed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). Lucero, who was sentenced before the effective date of the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA), asserted that the district court erred in failing to apply the FSA and its current statutory mandatory minimum sentencing scheme retroactively to reduce his sentence for possession of cocaine base. The Tenth Circuit disagreed. An 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) motion is not a resentencing proceeding, it is a modification of an already final sentence. The FSA does not retroactively apply to defendants who were initially sentenced before the FSA’s effective date. The court affirmed the sentence.

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