December 2016 Prisoner Petitions to Vacate Sentences
(20 Jan 2017) The latest available data from the federal district courts show that during December 2016 the number of new civil actions filed to vacate federal sentences appear to have fallen back to more typical levels since actions spiked in June 2016.

A surge in these prisoner petitions occurred following the U.S. Supreme Court's April 2016 decision that provided a new basis for challenging sentences of some individuals who had been convicted under the Armed Career Criminal Act.

Federal court records compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University show that during June 2016, filings of motions to vacate sentence peaked at 13,254.

During December 2016, these filings had dropped to a total of 541. This number is around the same number as the 587 petitions that had been filed one year earlier in December 2015.

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