Criminal Law

General Application Principles

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November 1, 2005GUIDELINES MANUAL§1B1.10

sound discretion of the court, a reduction in the term of imprisonment may be appropriate for previously sentenced, qualified defendants. The authorization of such a discretionary reduction does not otherwise affect the lawfulness of a previously imposed sentence, does not authorize a reduction in any other component of the sentence, and does not entitle a defendant to a reduced term of imprisonment as a matter of right.

The Commission has not included in this policy statement amendments that generally reduce the maximum of the guideline range by less than six months. This criterion is in accord with the legislative history of 28 U.S.C. § 994(u) (formerly § 994(t)), which states: "It should be noted that the Committee does not expect that the Commission will recommend adjusting existing sentences under the provision when guidelines are simply refined in a way that might cause isolated instances of existing sentences falling above the old guidelines* or when there is only a minor downward adjustment in the guidelines. The Committee does not believe the courts should be burdened with adjustments in these cases." S. Rep. 225, 98th Cong., 1st Sess. 180 (1983).

*So in original. Probably should be "to fall above the amended guidelines".

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 306). Amended effective November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 360); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 423); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 469); November 1, 1993 (see Appendix C, amendment 502); November 1, 1994 (see Appendix C, amendment 504); November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 536); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendment 548); November 1, 2000 (see Appendix C, amendment 607); November 5, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 662).

§1B1.11. Use of Guidelines Manual in Effect on Date of Sentencing (Policy Statement)

(a) The court shall use the Guidelines Manual in effect on the date that the defendant is sentenced.

(b) (1) If the court determines that use of the Guidelines Manual in effect on the date that the defendant is sentenced would violate the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution, the court shall use the Guidelines Manual in effect on the date that the offense of conviction was committed.

(2) The Guidelines Manual in effect on a particular date shall be applied in its entirety. The court shall not apply, for example, one guideline section from one edition of the Guidelines Manual and another guideline section from a different edition of the Guidelines Manual. However, if a court applies an earlier edition of the Guidelines Manual, the court shall consider subsequent amendments, to the extent that such amendments are clarifying rather than substantive changes.

(3) If the defendant is convicted of two offenses, the first committed before, and the second after, a revised edition of the Guidelines Manual became effective, the revised edition of the Guidelines Manual is to be applied to both offenses.

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