Friday, March 19, 2010

US House should eliminate crack/powder disparities for cocaine sentencing

It's been a while since I've written to my Congressman under my own steam, as opposed to in response to some organization's action alert showing up in my email box, but the chance to reduce or eliminate the federal crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity (discussed by Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy here, here, and here) inspired me to send this brief message over Rep. Lloyd Doggett's constituent contact form:
Please work as hard as you can to pass the legislation just over from the Senate to reduce the crack-powder sentencing disparities over what amount triggers mandatory sentence enhancements. S. 1789 would change the disparity from 100-1 to 18-1, which is better but still unjustifiable. I'm hoping to see/hear my Congressman pushing strongly to reduce that ratio to 1-1 in the House.

On this issue, my own views are being represented most closely by the group FAMM, or Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and I'd encourage you to work with them and support their efforts on this legislation.

For more background, see http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2010/03/full-senate-passes-bill-to-reduce-but-not-eliminate-crackpowder-disparity.html
Feel free to copy, modify and send your own version to your own representative, if the inspiration strikes you. You never know: Maybe for once Congress won't screw the pooch as badly as they have on healthcare. This is long overdue.

MORE: From Drug War Chronicle.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Also we need to lower the mandatory sentencing guidelines for methamphetamines!

Oh wait a minute, meth primarily effects white people, never mind!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Why not do it just like in Texas, where the sentence levels are the same no matter what drug you're peddling?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let's get real PC and just pretend that powder and crack are the same.

Anonymous said...

When the penalties are levelled, all will carry the penalties now reserved for crack...why do any think this equation will work out the other way?

Anonymous said...

Why are these things federal crimes? These are state issues, fedzilla is just piling on.

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