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October 11, 2005

Effective article covering crack/powder cocaine developments

Thanks to law.com, you can access this well-done article from the National Law Journal which discusses some post-Booker work by district courts to adjust the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine under the federal guidelines.  As the article details, "[w]hat has emerged among recent federal court rulings are expressions by some of the jurists that a more reasonable ratio would be a 20-to-1 difference between crack and powder cocaine."

The article reviews the long history of the crack/powder debate and highlights a number of recent leading opinions on this issue.  Unfortunately, the piece does not include any data on the total number of Booker variances based on the crack/powder disparity. (I'll have to add this issue to my developing wish list for data from the US Sentencing Commission.)  The piece does include an astute and ominous suggestion by Professor Frank Bowman that the crack/powder issue "may actually end up being a flash point for the post-Booker problems" in Congress.

I have covered many of the decisions mentioned in the article (and others) in prior posts:

October 11, 2005 at 12:30 AM | Permalink


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