Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act and First Step Implementation Act of Move to Senate
A press release from Senator Chuck Grassley has indicated that the Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act of 2021 and the First Step Implementation Act of 2021 have been advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
First Step Implementation Act
- Allowing courts to apply the FSA sentencing reform provisions to reduce sentences imposed prior to the enactment of the FSA;
- Broadening the safety valve provision to allow courts to sentence below a mandatory minimum for nonviolent controlled substance offenses, if the court finds the defendant’s criminal history over-represents the seriousness of the defendant’s criminal record and the likelihood of recidivism;
- Allowing courts to reduce sentences imposed on juvenile offenders who have served more than 20 years;
- Providing for the sealing or expungement of records of nonviolent juvenile offenses; and,
- Requiring the Attorney General to establish procedures ensuring that only accurate criminal records are shared for employment-related purposes.
Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act
- Amending 18 U.S.C. § 3661 to preclude a court of the United States from considering, except for purposes of mitigating a sentence, acquitted conduct at sentencing, and
- Defining “acquitted conduct” to include acts for which a person was criminally charged and adjudicated not guilty after trial in a Federal, State, Tribal, or Juvenile court, or acts underlying a criminal charge or juvenile information dismissed upon a motion for acquittal.
Safer Detention Act
The Senate Judiciary Committee also advanced the Durbin, Grassley COVID-19 Safer Detention Act on May 28, 2021. The Safer Detention Act does the following:
- Create a judicial review mechanism for individuals to petition for early home confinement under the “elderly offender” program;
- Make “old law” (pre-1987) prisoners eligible to seek compassionate release;
- Correct the compassionate release statute to make clear that individuals may seek relief from the courts 30 days after submitting a compassionate release request to BOP, without the need to further exhaust remedies; and
- During the pandemic, temporarily shorten the 30-day waiting period to 10 days and provide that vulnerability to COVID-19 is considered to be “extraordinary and compelling.
I will keep you updated on these bills as they make their way through congress.