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May 4, 2009

Has there been any in-court impact from DOJ's new crack sentencing policy?

The new crack sentencing policy talk from the new Justice Department (basics here and here) has justifiably garnered lots of media attention.  For example, over the weekend the San Francisco Chronicle had this front-page article, headlined "Advocates predict change in cocaine sentences."  And today I have seen these editorials supporting the equalization plan now proposed by DOJ:

But while others continue to call for Congress to embrace DOJ's new suggestion to eliminate the crack/powder disparity, I continue to wonder whether there has been (or will be) any in-court fallout from DOJ policy even before Congress gets around to acting. 

It surely will take weeks (and probably many months) before DOJ's advocacy produces legislation that "completely eliminates the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine."  Meanwhile, nearly 100 crack sentences are imposed in federal courts each and every week (and more are appealed each week).  Were any of the sentencings late last week impacted by DOJ's new crack sentencing policy?  Will any crack sentencings scheduled for this coming week be affected?  In my view, they certainly should be, but that does not mean they will.

Some recent related posts:

May 4, 2009 at 09:07 AM | Permalink


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