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September 13, 2006

Follow-up on Third Circuit's big crack ruling

Today's Philadelphia Inquirer has this article discussing the possible impact of the Third Circuit's important ruling in Gunter earlier this week (basics here, commentary here). Here are a few snippets from the article:

In its 29-page ruling issued Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated Gunter's sentence, saying that the U.S. District Court judge erred in believing he was required to adhere to a prison term based on the 100-to-1 [crack/powder] ratio....

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Zauzmer said yesterday the ruling was important ― and likely to be cited by every defendant in a crack case.  "This is a significant opinion which we are studying closely," said Zauzmer, who said prosecutors were considering whether to ask the appeals court to reconsider the decision or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Assistant Federal Defender David L. McColgin said the two-tiered sentencing structure created a racial disparity because crack is more prevalent in the black community.  "This has a great impact in helping to reduce the racial disparity that stems from that ratio," McColgin said.

September 13, 2006 at 07:43 AM | Permalink

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