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May 28, 2007

Clear (near) consensus on crack corrections

At the National Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in Salt Lake City last week (reviewed here and here), I heard lots of praise and virtually no criticisms regarding the US Sentencing Commission's important recent work on crack sentencing (details here).  And two thoughtful recent newspaper commentaries add to the seemingly consensus view that Congress need to build upon the USSC's work to further reform the crack-powder disparity:

  • Jacob Sullum in this piece entitled "Crackbrained crackdown" seems to urge complete equalization of crack and powder sentencing.
  • Sylvia Smith in this piece entitled "Sentencing disparity hurts blacks" argues that "[f]or reasons of fairness and to help lessen the mistrust in the legal system, Congress would be wise to tackle this."

However, as Smith's piece highlights, the consensus that Congress should do something breaks down when it comes to exactly what Congress should do.  As a piece in CQ Today recently highlighted, there are many competing views and proposals concerning how the crack-powder disparity should be addressed.

May 28, 2007 at 07:58 AM | Permalink

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Posted by: Harley | Oct 13, 2008 5:36:12 PM

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