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July 24, 2009

"Momentum Builds to Equalize Cocaine Penalties"

The title of this post is the headline of this article in today's Washington Post.  Here is how it starts:

After two decades of criticism over cocaine sentences that disproportionately punish blacks, momentum is building in Congress and in the Obama administration for a legislative fix, representing a fundamental shift in politics and attitude, even among key GOP lawmakers.

For the first time after multiple attempts, a House subcommittee this week approved a bill to equalize criminal penalties for people caught with crack and powder cocaine.  The bill would also eliminate five-year mandatory minimum prison terms for offenders convicted of possessing rock cocaine without an intent to sell it.

The subcommittee vote came as a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting to craft a similar proposal, which could be unveiled as early as next week, according to two congressional sources familiar with the effort.

July 24, 2009 at 01:10 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Any chance at all for retroactivity, Doug?

Posted by: Peter G | Jul 24, 2009 9:58:50 PM

Great News!!

Posted by: Suzette Watkins | Jul 24, 2009 10:07:22 PM

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In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB