This is my second post in our “Clemency” series. Our last post served as a general overview on changes to the federal clemency system and what it could mean for you. This post will discuss how eligibility for clemency is going to be determined for those convicted in Arkansas of federal offenses.
New clemency standards may apply to Arkansas inmates convicted in federal court of drug related charges
In 2010, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced unfair discrepancies in sentences for offenses involving crack cocaine. However, the Fair Sentencing Act did not apply to those who were sentenced before the law was passed. And now there are many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old laws who will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime.
The new clemency standards allow a person who has committed a drug related offense to receive a reduced sentence in order to have the same rights as a person convicted under the Fair Sentencing Act. If you were convicted prior to an out of date law being changed, you may be eligible for clemency. Our Arkansas federal criminal defense lawyers are able to evaluate your situation to determine if you may qualify for clemency and if so can help initiate the process for you.
Arkansas inmates who were charged with non-violent drug crimes may qualify for federal clemency
The new standards mean that federal clemency is open to people convicted in an Arkansas federal court who can meet all of the criteria below:
- One who is already in federal prison and who would probably receive a lighter sentence if they were convicted today
- Those who are non-violent, low-level offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations, gangs, or cartels
- Prisoners who have served at least 10 years of their sentence
- People who have no serious criminal history
- Prisoners who have displayed goodbehavior while serving their prison sentence
- Prisoners who have not displayed any violence while currently incarcerated
If you meet these criteria then you may be eligible for clemency under the new standards. Hiring an attorney will help ensure that you put your best foot forward in the application and that you make the best presentation possible. Our attorneys are up to date on the new clemency standards and are ready to assist you in your application.
This is the time to take advantage of this opportunity. It is unclear as to how many clemency petitions will be granted. Attorneys for the United States Government are already searching the prisons for inmates who may match the criteria. It is not advisable to leave such a huge opportunity in the hands of the United States Government. Contact our attorneys for assistance with filing your clemency petition.