Schiff Secures 7th Circuit Precedent-Setting Appeal for “Covered Offense” Sentence Reconsideration Under First Step Act

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Schiff Secures 7th Circuit Precedent-Setting Appeal for “Covered Offense” Sentence Reconsideration Under First Step Act

News Release |

Schiff recently scored a significant pro bono victory in the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for its client and others who were sentenced to disproportionately harsh sentences for crack cocaine offenses. The Seventh Circuit sided with our client, Samuel Hogsett, holding that sentencing relief under the First Step Act of 2018 is available to Hogsett and other defendants who were convicted of possessing with intent to distribute low or unspecified amounts of crack cocaine. The First Step Act made retroactive the reforms of the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine from 100:1 to 18:1.

With its decision, the Seventh Circuit joined the First and Fourth Circuits and split from the Third Circuit, which denies First Step Act relief to crack cocaine defendants convicted for amounts below those triggering mandatory minimum sentences. This matter was referred to the firm by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NADCL).