S. 1383 (110th): Drug Sentencing Reform Act of 2007

110th Congress, 2007–2009. Text as of May 14, 2007 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

II

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1383

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 14, 2007

(for himself, Mr. Pryor, Mr. Cornyn, and Mr. Salazar) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To reduce the disparity in punishment between crack and powder cocaine offenses, to more broadly focus the punishment for drug offenders on the seriousness of the offense and the culpability of the offender, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Drug Sentencing Reform Act of 2007.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Title I—Reduction of disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine

Sec. 101. Reduction in disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine.

Sec. 102. Sentencing guideline conforming changes and enhancements for acts of violence during the course of a drug trafficking offense.

Title II—Increased emphasis on the defendant’s role in the offense

Sec. 201. Increase in sentence for leadership role in drug offense.

Sec. 202. Limit on sentence when defendant has lesser role in the offense.

Sec. 203. Elderly, nonviolent prisoner pilot program.

Sec. 204. Emergency amendment authority; effective date.

I

Reduction of disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine

101.

Reduction in disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine

(a)

Amendment of the Controlled Substances Act

Section 401 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841) is amended as follows:

(1)

Ten-year mandatory minimum

(A)

Decrease in amount of powder cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimum

In subsection (b)(1)(A)(ii) by striking 5 kilograms and inserting 4 kilograms.

(B)

Increase in amount of crack cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimum

In subsection (b)(1)(A)(iii) by striking 50 grams and inserting 200 grams.

(2)

Five-year mandatory minimum

(A)

Decrease in amount of powder cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimum

In subsection (b)(1)(B)(ii) by striking 500 grams and inserting 400 grams.

(B)

Increase in amount of crack cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimum

In subsection (b)(1)(B)(iii) by striking 5 grams and inserting 20 grams.

(b)

Amendment of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act

Section 1010 of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960) is amended as follows:

(1)

Ten-year mandatory minimum

(A)

Decrease in amount of powder cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimum

In subsection (b)(1)(B) by striking 5 kilograms and inserting 4 kilograms.

(B)

Increase in amount of crack cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimum

In subsection (b)(1)(C) by striking 50 grams and inserting 200 grams.

(2)

Five-year mandatory minimum

(A)

Decrease in amount of powder cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimum

In subsection (b)(2)(B) by striking 500 grams and inserting 400 grams.

(B)

Increase in amount of crack cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimum

In subsection (b)(2)(C) by striking 5 grams and inserting 20 grams.

(c)

Conforming change to penalty for possession

Section 404(a) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 844(a)) is amended in the fifth sentence by striking 5 years and inserting 1 year.

102.

Sentencing guideline conforming changes and enhancements for acts of violence during the course of a drug trafficking offense

Pursuant to its authority under section 994 of title 28, United States Code, and in accordance with this section, the United States Sentencing Commission shall review and amend the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements to ensure—

(1)

that guideline offense levels based upon the quantity of powder cocaine and crack cocaine are consistent with the amendments made by section 101; and

(2)

that the guidelines provide an appropriate additional penalty increase of from 2 to 8 offense levels if the defendant used violence, made a credible threat to use violence, directed the use or threatened use of violence, or possessed a firearm, or other dangerous weapon, during the course of a drug trafficking offense.

II

Increased emphasis on the defendant’s role in the offense

201.

Increase in sentence for leadership role in drug offense

Pursuant to its authority under section 994 of title 28, United States Code, and in accordance with this section, the United States Sentencing Commission shall review and amend the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements to ensure an additional increase of at least 2 offense levels if—

(1)

the defendant, as an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of drug trafficking activity, is subject to an aggravating role enhancement under the guidelines; and

(2)

the offense involved 1 or more of the following super-aggravating factors—

(A)

the defendant—

(i)

used another person to purchase, sell, transport, or store controlled substances;

(ii)

used impulse, fear, friendship, affection, or some combination thereof to involve such person in the offense;

(iii)

and such person had a minimum knowledge of the illegal enterprise and was to receive little or no compensation from the illegal transaction;

(B)

the defendant maintained an establishment for the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance, as generally described in section 406 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 856);

(C)

the defendant—

(i)

distributed a controlled substance to a person under the age of 18 years, a person over the age of 64 years, or a pregnant individual; or

(ii)

involved a person under the age of 18 years, a person over the age of 64 years, or a pregnant individual in drug trafficking;

(D)

the defendant bribed, or attempted to bribe, a Federal, State, or local law enforcement official in connection with a drug trafficking offense;

(E)

the defendant was involved in the importation into the United States of a controlled substance; or

(F)

the defendant committed the drug trafficking offense as part of a pattern of criminal conduct engaged in as a livelihood.

202.

Limit on sentence when defendant has lesser role in the offense

Pursuant to its authority under section 994 of title 28, United States Code, and in accordance with this section, the United States Sentencing Commission shall review and amend, as appropriate, the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements to ensure that—

(1)

if the defendant is subject to a minimal role adjustment under the guidelines, the base offense level for such a defendant based solely on drug quantity shall not exceed level 32; and

(2)

there shall be an additional reduction of 2 offense levels, if the defendant—

(A)

otherwise qualifies for a minimal role adjustment under the guidelines and had a minimum knowledge of the illegal enterprise;

(B)

was to receive little or no compensation from the illegal transaction; and

(C)

acted on impulse, fear, friendship, or affection when the defendant was otherwise unlikely to commit such an offense.

203.

Elderly, nonviolent prisoner pilot program

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Crime of violence

The term crime of violence has the meaning given the term in section 16 of title 18, United States Code.

(2)

Designated facility

The term designated facility means a Federal penitentiary designated by the Attorney General as appropriate for the pilot program.

(3)

Director

The term Director means the Director of the Bureau of Prisons.

(4)

Eligible prisoner

The term eligible prisoner means a prisoner in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who—

(A)

is not less than 65 years of age;

(B)

is serving a term of imprisonment after conviction for an offense other than a crime of violence and has served the greater of 10 years or 1/2 of the term of imprisonment;

(C)

has not been convicted in the past of any Federal or State crime of violence;

(D)

has not been determined by the Bureau of Prisons, on the basis of information the Bureau uses to make custody classifications, and in the sole discretion of the Bureau, to have a history of violence;

(E)

has not escaped, or attempted to escape, from a Bureau of Prisons facility; and

(F)

has not been determined by the Director, pursuant to the disciplinary system of the Bureau of Prisons, to have committed an infraction involving an act of violence.

(5)

Home detention

The term home detention has the same meaning given the term in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and includes detention in a nursing home or other residential long-term care facility.

(6)

Pilot program

The term pilot program means the pilot program carried out in accordance with this section.

(7)

Term of imprisonment

The term term of imprisonment includes multiple terms of imprisonment ordered to run consecutively or concurrently, which shall be treated as a single, aggregate term of imprisonment for purposes of this section.

(b)

Program established

(1)

In general

Notwithstanding section 3624 of title 18, United States Code, or any other provision of law, the Director shall carry out a pilot program at 1 or more designated facilities, under which the Director shall, in accordance with paragraph (2), place each prisoner who is determined to be an eligible prisoner on home detention until the date on which the term of imprisonment to which the eligible prisoner was sentenced expires.

(2)

Timing of release

In carrying out the pilot program, the Director shall place an eligible prisoner on home detention under paragraph (1)—

(A)

with respect to a prisoner who is determined to be an eligible prisoner on or before the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act; and

(B)

with respect to a prisoner who is determined to be an eligible prisoner after the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act and before the date that is 3 years and 91 days after such date of enactment, not later than 90 days after the date of such determination.

(3)

Violation of terms of home detention

A violation of the terms of the home detention, including the commission of another Federal, State, or local crime, shall result in the return of an eligible prisoner to the form of custody of that prisoner prior to being placed on home detention.

(c)

Program evaluation

(1)

In general

The Director shall contract with an independent organization to monitor and evaluate the progress of each prisoner released under the pilot program during the 3-year period beginning on the date of such release.

(2)

Annual report

The organization described in paragraph (1) shall annually submit to the Director and to Congress a report on the pilot program, which shall include—

(A)

an evaluation of the effectiveness of the pilot program in providing successful transition to eligible prisoners from incarceration to the community, including data relating to the recidivism rates for those prisoners; and

(B)

the cost savings to the Federal Government resulting from the early removal of eligible prisoners from incarceration.

204.

Emergency amendment authority; effective date

(a)

Emergency amendment authority

(1)

In general

The United States Sentencing Commission, in its discretion, may—

(A)

promulgate amendments pursuant to the directives in this Act in accordance with the procedure set forth in section 21(a) of the Sentencing Act of 1987 (28 U.S.C. 994 note), as though the authority under that section had not expired; and

(B)

pursuant to the emergency authority provided in paragraph (1), make such conforming amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines as the Commission determines necessary to achieve consistency with other guideline provisions and applicable law.

(2)

Promulgation

The Commission shall promulgate any amendments under paragraph (1) promptly, so that the amendments take effect on the same date as the amendments made by this Act.

(b)

Effective date

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall apply to any offense committed on or after 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act. There shall be no retroactive application of any portion of this Act.

(2)

Applicability

This subsection shall not apply to section 203 of this Act.