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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Shorter Crack Sentences<br><br>
Jacob Sullum | May 4, 2007, 3:11pm<br><br>
This week the U.S. Sentencing Commission officially notified Congress that it plans to change its sentencing guidelines for crack possession, moving the penalty ranges closer to those for cocaine powder. Under the commission's amendments, the recommended range for possessing five grams of crack would be 51 to 63 months, down from 63 to 78 months; the range for 50 grams would be 97 to 121 months, down from 121 to 151 months. The amendments, which will take effect automatically unless Congress overrides them within six months, do not affect the statutory mandatory minimum sentences established by Congress in the 1980s: five years for five grams of crack (the same as the penalty for 500 grams of cocaine powder) and 10 years for 50 grams (the same as the penalty for five kilograms of cocaine powder). Since 1995 the commission has been urging Congress to revisit this unjust, irrational 100-to-1 disparity, which results in racially skewed sentencing that punishes low-level offenders more severely than major dealers. The current Congress may finally mind the gap, although it's more likely to shrink the disparity than eliminate it entirely.<br></td>
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Read here for an interesting take on this:<br><a href="http://reason.com/news/show/120341.html" target="_blank">http://reason.com/news/show/120341.html</a><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The extraordinarily harsh treatment of crack offenders reflected the belief that smokable cocaine was much worse than snortable cocaine—100 times as bad, to judge by the cutoff quantities Congress chose. According to conventional wisdom, crack was especially dangerous because it caused violence, immediate addiction, and crippling birth defects. All of these premises turned out to be wrong.<br></td>
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Hmmm well I don't agree with the previous sentencing lengths, not b/c I think crack is the same as coke b/c it is NOT... but b/c I don't think it should be punishable by that much time... Users need rehabilitation more then prison time....<br>
As far as crack not being more addictive then cocaine???? I have had experience with being around dealers of both drugs, and the people buying crack are much much more desperate then the people that buy coke!!!<br>
There is a huge difference in the users sorry, I don't know exactly where they are getting there statistics from I have NEVER seen people that are addicted to coke act like that, not that desperate and also the crack addicts DO horrible things to their families in the name of crack, stealing everything, and they will get violent and dangerous if they need it, but I think the violence also has something to do with personalities and it isn't an all inclusive thing, just some are more likely to do it, the crack will make it happen if that tendency is there at all.<br>
I haven't seen any babies with birth defects as a result of crack though which is suprising.
 

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Oh this really p*sses me off!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/censored.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="censored"> How do these changes eliminate the injustice? Ugh!!!<br><br>
When I was a public defender we were constantly enraged over this. The drug laws, from their very inception, have been racist and I see this bill doesn't change that.<br><br>
I remember being in juvenile court one day and a Black boy caught with a marijuana roach in his pocket at school, who had no prior record, was held in jail on $5,000 cash bail. Some time later, 3 white boys came into court, having been caught basically running a meth lab in their apt while their mom worked at night. The same judge released all of them ROR- for those of you who don't understand that, that means they walked out without anyone having to pay anything! One white kid after another would get probation where a Black kid would get jail. If the Black kid got probabtion, it would be more restrictive than that for the white kids. Just stark.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 
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