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Mr. Retroactivity

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Remember Edward Dorsey?  He was the defendant in Dorsey v. United States, in which the Supreme Court, 5-4, walked past the Savings Statute, 1 USC 109, to find that the Fair Sentencing Act applied retroactively for the benefit of those convicted on or after the day it was signed into law, regardless of its effective date.

That degree of retroactivity, bad as it was, pales by comparison to the essentially time-unlimited retroactivity the Justice Department endorsed today for lighter drug penalties across the board.

What happens when we make lighter drug sentencing retroactive?  Easy  --  the druggie gets out earlier.  And what happens then? Easy again  --  he goes right back in business.  Why would he do anything else when he sees that we've lost our nerve?

Now as I was saying about Mr. Dorsey......
From Dorsey's hometown paper, we see this article from last month, which begins:

A St. Anne man who had his drug conviction sentence reduced by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Springfield.

Edward Dorsey Sr., 42, of St. Anne, was indicted on three counts of distributing crack cocaine. The U.S. Probation Office also requested to have his federal supervised release revoked based upon his drug trafficking activities.

According to the indictment, Dorsey allegedly distributed more than 28 grams -- about one ounce -- of crack cocaine in Kankakee County on Nov. 21 and Dec. 18, 2013. He also is alleged to have distributed crack on Dec. 10.

If convicted, Dorsey faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison.

Dorsey was on supervised release from his prior 10-year sentence for crack cocaine distribution. Dorsey appealed his sentence and, by a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in 2012, his sentence was reduced when the court said his sentence should have been based upon the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act.

Dorsey faces additional penalties because he was still serving his term of supervised release when he is alleged to have been distributing crack cocaine.

According to the petition to revoke his supervised release, Dorsey also allegedly kidnapped and battered a man on Jan. 9 at the Citgo Gas station in Pembroke Township. According to the petition, Dorsey grabbed the man by the shirt, forced him into a car, pointed a gun at the man and punched and choked him. He then drove away with the man before eventually letting him go.

Oddly, when the Department's representative testified before the Sentencing Commission today to gush over the True Wonderfulness of Retroactively Lower Sentences for Druggies, she, uh, forgot to mention this case.

Goodness gracious!


[Note:  I have changed the title of this entry from, "And Speaking of Retroactivity for Lighter Sentences..." because "Mr. Retroactivity" is more apt.]

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