9:21am

Fri June 3, 2011
The Commonwealth

Fair Sentence Ruling Won't Affect KY Case

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is pushing for criminals serving jail time or possession of crack cocaine to have their sentences reduced, but his efforts are unlikely to affect one of the most famous local cases involving crack cocaine. Holder’s recommendation is related to the Fair Sentencing Act. Previously, possession of the more expensive powder form of cocaine carried a lighter penalty than possession of crack. Holder argues that anyone sentenced under the harsher guidelines should have the chance to serve less time.

The Supreme Court recently heard a case out of Kentucky involving many of the same issues. It was brought by William Freeman, who took a plea deal for crack possession and was unable to have his sentence shortened under the Fair Sentencing Act.

But the nature of Freeman’s case sets it apart from Holder’s recommendation, since Freeman has been previously ordered to serve out the sentence negotiated in his plea deal. Further, Freeman was in possession of a loaded firearm, and Holder’s recommendation does not apply to certain convicts, including those serving time on gun charges.