In Dillon, Court Limits Application of Key Sentencing Ruling

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On June 17, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an 8-1 ruling in Dillon v. United States (with only Justice Stevens dissenting) that the Court’s 2005 ruling in United States v. Booker that made the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines advisory rather than mandatory does not apply to proceedings to reduce a sentence under section 3582(c)(2) of the U.S. Code.

Percy Dillon, who had been convicted of crack and powder cocaine offenses, received the benefit of an amendment to the crack cocaine guidelines that the Sentencing Commission ruled should be applied retroactively to reduce the sentences of those who had already been convicted of crack offenses. In his pro se motion, Dillon asked not only for the two-level reduction specifically authorized by the Commission but also for a further reduction that he said was authorized under Booker, which made the guidelines advisory.

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