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November 15, 2006

The Justice Department's crack testimony

Though the USSC's website has most of written testimony from this week's cocaine hearing available at this link, the Executive Branch testimony is missing.  Fortunately, a very helpful reader has sent me a copy of the Justice Department's testimony, which I provide for downloading below. Here is the nuanced conclusion:

As noted above, the existing mandatory minimum sentencing scheme for cocaine trafficking has been an important part of the Federal government’s efforts to disrupt the cocaine market generally, and the crack cocaine and powder cocaine markets specifically. For all the reasons we have discussed, we continue to believe that the current federal sentencing policy and current sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine offenses are reasonable.  The Administration appreciates the opportunity to testify at this hearing and hopes the dialogue will continue. As we stated earlier, in light of the perception of racial disparity from the 100-to-1 quantity ratio as well as the larger, systemic changes taking place in federal sentencing, our work together must go on so that we ensure that federal sentencing is predictable, and strong. In this way, we will better be able to keep the public safe, keep crime rates at historic lows, and minimize the harmful effects of illegal drugs.

Download cocaine_sentencing_policy_111306_5.pdf

November 15, 2006 at 04:51 PM | Permalink


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» Bush Administation Expresses Support for Crack/Powder Disparity from ACSBlog: The Blog of the American Constitution Society
Under Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the penalty for possession of crack cocaine is up to 100 times more severe than that for possession of powder cocaine. This disparity has been criticized for its impact on racial minorities--African-Americans repres... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 16, 2006 9:50:46 AM


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