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November 26, 2006

Federal cocaine sentencing reform dog not barking

Perhaps it is a good sign for future reforms that the AP has this new lengthy article discussing the failure of Congress to do anything about the crack/powder federal sentencing disparity.  Here is a snippet:

Congress is headed toward adjournment again this year without acting on what is widely viewed as an indefensible sentencing disparity between federal drug offenses involving crack and powder cocaine.   Although nearly everyone agrees that the uneven treatment the two drugs receive under federal sentencing laws is unfair, Democrats and Republicans have been locked in a stalemate for more than a decade over the proper fix.  That stalemate, unlikely to break before Democrats regain control of Congress, has left in place a system that frequently sends black, inner-city defendants to jail for more than a decade over quantities of crack that would fetch far shorter sentence for powder-cocaine offenders....

With Democrats taking control of Congress, incoming Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont and fellow committee Democrats will likely take up the issue soon, said Tracy Schmaler, Leahy's spokeswoman.  But with narrow majorities in both the House and Senate, it remains unclear whether any of the Democratic proposals could pass.

UPDATE:  Over at BlackAmericaWeb.com, one can now find this original article entitled "Many Hope Democrats' Majority Results in End of Crack vs. Cocaine Sentencing Disparities."

November 26, 2006 at 09:39 PM | Permalink

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