High Court OKs Shortening Sentences Despite Plea Deals

Law360, New York (June 23, 2011, 5:55 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that courts have the right to reduce a defendant’s prison sentence following a change in federal sentencing guidelines, even if the defendant’s plea agreement specifically defined the length of a sentence.

The justices ruled 5-4 that the Sixth Circuit and a Kentucky federal court were wrong in finding that prisoner William Freeman was not eligible for a reduction of his nearly nine-year crack possession sentence after the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines were lowered, because he had already agreed to a specific...
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