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US Senate votes to erase cocaine sentencing disparity
03-18-2010, 02:47 AM,
#1
US Senate votes to erase cocaine sentencing disparity
US Senate votes to erase cocaine sentencing disparity
AFP
Published: Wednesday March 17, 2010

The US Senate Wednesday unanimously approved legislation to reduce 20-year-old sentencing disparities for offenders caught with crack cocaine versus the drug in its powder form.

Critics of the US justice system's unequal treatment of the two drugs argued that it disproportionately punishes African-Americans, who are convicted of crack possession in far greater numbers.

"The racial imbalance that has resulted from the cocaine sentencing disparity disparages the Constitution?s promise of equal treatment for all Americans," said Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy.

"After more than 20 years, the Senate has finally acted on legislation to correct the crack-powder disparity and the harm to public confidence in our justice system it created," said Leahy, a Democrat.

The bill, which must still pass the House of Representatives before President Barack Obama can sign it into law, cuts the 100:1 ratio in the amount of powder cocaine versus crack cocaine that trigger the same sentence.

The legislation as introduced would have cut the ratio to 1:1, but dealmaking to ensure its passage resulted in a compromise ratio of 18:1.

While just 25 percent of crack users are African-American, they constituted 81 percent of those convicted for crack offenses in 1987, according to Leahy's office.

Under current law, possession of five grams of crack cocaine -- roughly the weight of two sugar cubes -- triggers a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence, the same triggered by trafficking 500 grams of powder cocaine.
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03-18-2010, 03:12 AM,
#2
RE: US Senate votes to erase cocaine sentencing disparity
Wasn't that the point of the different laws? Set up the less affluent black community with coke imported by the CIA, tech them how to cook it into crack and reap the financial profits, legal fees and penal institution fees and thrive off of the chaos it caused in their communities.

If they are going to start changing drug laws, they need to just go ahead and legalize all drugs (like that will ever happen). The sane mind would conclude from examples such as Amsterdam and Portugal, that treating drugs as a medical issue and not as a legal issue is the most humane and intelligent course of action. However, I know that the prison industrial complex and all of the law enforcement agencies absolutely cannot have this as this is what they are in existence for. That would be destroying their Hegelian Dialectic.
“Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after
equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. ” -Nikola Tesla

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." -Jimi Hendrix
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03-18-2010, 04:09 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-18-2010, 04:09 AM by Melchor.)
#3
RE: US Senate votes to erase cocaine sentencing disparity
Yes, the differential sentencing was/is racism, war on the poor, and institutionalized slavery. Maybe their costs of housing slaves are exceeding the productive value and they want to downsize?
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