Zero Point Offender Analysis


Introducing a groundbreaking US sentencing guideline amendment that carries significant consequences: a 2-level reduction for individuals with zero criminal history points, subject to certain exclusion criteria. This amendment holds tremendous significance, as it is retroactive and has the potential to impact numerous inmates in the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and countless clients currently facing federal court sentencing.

However, it is crucial to navigate the language carefully, equipping oneself with the appropriate legal tools and ensuring the preservation of appeal rights. Thus, we must delve deep into the intricate details and engage in a comprehensive discussion about the interpretation of the term “and” within criterion 10 (leader/organizer exclusion) of the new zero point offender guideline exclusion provisions.

Key points to consider:

  • A comprehensive overview of the ZERO POINT OFFENDER guideline amendment.
  • Retroactivity’s far-reaching impact, potentially resulting in sentencing reductions for over 7000 individuals in the BOP.
  • The complex issue surrounding Criterion 10: Does “and” truly mean “and,” or does it indicate an “or” relationship?
  • Strategies to capitalize on this amendment before its expected passage on 11/1/23.
  • The pending Pulsifer case in the Supreme Court, which may resolve the dilemma surrounding criterion 10 and its interpretation of “and” as “or.”
  • The importance of preserving these critical issues during the sentencing process.
  • Even if the court interprets “and” as “or,” presenting an argument for variance remains a viable option.
  • It is imperative not to wait until 11/1 to seek a 2-level reduction. Considering requesting a continuance until the amendment takes effect can be a prudent approach.

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