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January 27, 2006

Effective article on "Cracked Sentencing"

The ABA Journal's e-report has this effective article discussing post-Booker crack sentencing, which focuses particularly on the First Circuit's recent Pho decision (basics here, commentary here and here and here) and the Eleventh Circuit's recent Williams decision (details here).  The piece ends, as did a recent Wall Street Journal article, with what seems like an encouraging quote from Senator Jeff Sessions:

Whether the Pho decision will spur congressional action is unclear.  U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said after the decision was issued that he would introduce a bill this year to propose changing the law to reduce the ratio. "I still believe the guidelines are not appropriate on crack and powder cocaine," he said in a statement. "I think we need to make some improvements there based on the reality of what's going on in the courts of America."

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January 27, 2006 at 03:48 PM | Permalink


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Another decision adds to the mix an apparent intra-district conflict in D.C.


Posted by: LT | Jan 27, 2006 4:45:55 PM

The obvious is Congress has to say they were wrong, something that seldom happens. The Sentencing Commission, when there was one, recommended at least trying to equalize the penalties between “white” powdered cocaine and “black” rock cocaine. It is a distinction without a difference, other than the race of the defendant and the money involved. To equalize the penalties for all drugs, base the sentence on the value of the drugs involved, then you have a truly proportionate sentencing system. After all whether money is taken by fraud or laundered, it is the amount that determines the punishment, isn’t it?

Posted by: Barry Ward | Jan 27, 2006 5:28:03 PM

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