Hundreds Could Get Sentencing Break

December 13, 2007

Atlanta (WTVM) -- The decision against prosecuting Zachary Allen for a positive cocaine test has stirred discussion across Columbus.  Now hundreds of Georgia cocaine criminals could get out of jail early.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission reports a Supreme Court ruling on crack cocaine laws this week will allow 710 Georgia inmates to seek shorter terms.  That includes 299 in the judicial Middle district, which includes Columbus and Albany.  No numbers were available for Alabama Thursday morning.

The Supreme Court ruling gave federal judges leeway in sentencing criminals for cocaine-related crimes.  The Sentencing Commission then decided to make that leeway retroactive, which could allow prison time to be reduced by as much as two years.  Federal judges will have the final say, in whether the sentences will be reduced.

-- Producer R. Burkard