Dorsey v. U.S.

Dorsey v. United States and Hill v. United States

Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Status: Closed (Judgment)
Last Update: January 30, 2012

What's at Stake

Whether the federal Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine from 100:1 to 18:1, applies to defendants who committed their offenses before the Act was passed but were sentenced after the Act’s passage.

Summary

Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010 because it recognized that the 100:1 disparity between crack and powder cocaine that it had adopted in 1986 was unsupported by science and has had a severe, disproportionate impact on racial minorities. Because the purpose of the Act was “to restore fairness to Federal cocaine sentencing,” the amicus brief submitted by the ACLU and a coalition of other civil rights groups argues that Congress could not have intended for anyone to be sentenced under the old, discredited regime following the Act’s passage.

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