Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Florida, and the R Street Institute filed an amicus brief in support of certiorari in the Supreme Court case Tarahtick Terry v. United States.
Mr. Terry sought resentencing for a 2008 crack-cocaine offense under the 2018 First Step Act, which made the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act retroactive, yet his request was denied by both the district court and Eleventh Circuit Court. Several courts of appeals have upheld that the changes under the First Step Act affect all sentences for crack cocaine offenses imposed under the 100:1 crack to powder disparity, regardless of the amount. The court’s ruling in Mr. Terry’s case suggests that only those convicted of possessing larger amounts of crack cocaine are eligible for resentencing, while those convicted of possessing smaller amounts are not eligible. LDF’s brief argues that the Eleventh Circuit’s decision is inconsistent with the remedial purpose in passing the Fair Sentencing Act and First Step Act, as both were passed to address and reduce the harsh sentencing and racial disparities created by the 100:1 crack-powder ratio.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.