The Use of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 35(b)
United States Sentencing Commission
Feb 22, 2016

The U.S. Sentencing Commission released a report examining sentence reductions for offenders who cooperate with the government in its efforts to investigate or prosecute others.

Offenders can receive credit for their “substantial assistance” in at least two ways; at the time of sentencing (USSG §5K1.1 departure motions) and after sentencing (Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 35(b) motions). In both instances, the government must make a motion for a lower sentence. This publication discusses the history and use of these motions. It also presents data on:

  • the number of Rule 35(b) reductions and the jurisdictions where they are granted;
  • the effects of Rule 35(b) reductions on sentences; and
  • the offense and demographic characteristics of offenders who receive such reductions.

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