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Powdered cocain users and crack users to get equal time


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#1 Fiz

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 01:54 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration joined a federal judge Wednesday in urging Congress to end a racial disparity by equalizing prison sentences for dealing and using crack versus powdered cocaine.

"Jails are loaded with people who look like me," U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, an African-American, told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said the administration believes Congress' goal "should be to completely eliminate the disparity" between the two forms of cocaine. "A growing number of citizens view it as fundamentally unfair," Breuer testified.

It takes 100 times more powdered cocaine than crack cocaine to trigger the same harsh mandatory minimum sentences.

Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who chairs the subcommittee, said, "Under current law, mere possession of five grams of crack — the weight of five packets of sweetener — carries the same sentence as distribution of half a kilogram of powder or 500 packets of sweetener."

Durbin said more than 81 percent of those convicted for crack offenses in 2007 were African-American, although only about 25 percent of crack cocaine users are African Americans.

Congress enacted the disparity during an epidemic of crack cocaine in the 1980s, but the senator said lawmakers erred in assuming that violence would be greater among those using crack

Breuer said the best way to deal with violence is to severely punish anyone who commits a violent offense, regardless of the drug involved.

"This administration believes our criminal laws should be tough, smart, fair," Breuer said, but also should "promote public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system."

Walton said, "We were mistaken" to enact the disparity. "There's no greater violence in cases before me."

The Obama administration is also seeking to increase drug treatment, as well as rehabilitation programs for felons after they're released from prison.

while neither should be illegal to the degree they are, this law has needed to be changed since they made it.

it should go without saying who uses crack verses powdered cocaine, and who benefits from the old law and who suffers. i can't even imagine anyone opposing this.

#2 g5jamz

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:02 PM

Do it. Good move.

Coke/crackhead...no difference.

#3 catfang

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:03 PM

while neither should be illegal to the degree they are, this law has needed to be changed since they made it.

it should go without saying who uses crack verses powdered cocaine, and who benefits from the old law and who suffers. i can't even imagine anyone opposing this.


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#4 engine9

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:08 PM

If they equalize by moving the coke standard up to the crack standard jails will be even more full. I think they should do it vice versa.

#5 Matt Foley

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:13 PM

Gitmo is soon to have open cells.

#6 Carolina Husker

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:34 PM

Coke is way better than crack.

#7 Inimicus

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:43 PM

They both should be VERY Illegal.

They should get equal time but they should be right up there with possession of weaponized anthrax or a neutron bomb when it comes to sentencing.

Possession of any quantity of either should be mandatory jail time.


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#8 mmmbeans

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:49 PM

They both should be VERY Illegal.

They should get equal time but they should be right up there with possession of weaponized anthrax or a neutron bomb when it comes to sentencing.


lol whut?

#9 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 03:04 PM

Do it. Good move.

Coke/crackhead...no difference.


Legally perhaps. But physically, there is a lot of difference. I have been around enough of them to know.


However

Crackheads are not as bad as Meth addicts.

#10 g5jamz

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 03:07 PM

Legally perhaps. But physically, there is a lot of difference. I have been around enough of them to know.


However

Crackheads are not as bad as Meth addicts.


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