Today's Date: June 16, 2021
Progressive Grocer Reveals Record-Setting 2021 Class of Top Women in Grocery   •   The American Legion demands the U.S. government act now to extract Afghan interpreters before Sept. 11 troop withdrawal deadline   •   Announcing June 29 Premiere of the Inaugural 'A Celebration of Black Music: Music is the Window to Our Souls,' Sponsored by Ande   •   Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole Announced as Keynote Speaker for South Florida Institute on Aging’s 5th Annual Symposium   •   Pine Run Essential Worker Named PA Staff Member of the Year for Service to Skilled Nursing Residents During COVID-19 Pandemic   •   Celebrate Great Dads This Father’s Day with Amazing Gifts from Macy’s   •   Experts confirm extremely low levels of fluoride reduce IQ, according to the Fluoride Action Network   •   Hilton Solves Longtime Travel Frustration by Introducing Confirmed Connecting Rooms   •   Amazon Studios Releases Inclusion Policy and Playbook to Strengthen Ongoing Commitment to Diverse and Equitable Representation   •   Huntington University Signs Three Educational Partnership Agreements at Inaugural Peruvian Canadian Institute Summit   •   BNC Appoints Proven Newsroom Leader And Media Executive Vickie Burns SVP Of Content   •   ADM Endeavors, Inc. (OTCQB: ADMQ) Helps with Hockey World Record Through Sponsorship   •   Women of Commonwealth Initiative Emphasizes Commitment to Inclusion and Community   •   The Executive Leadership Council Announces "Build, Grow, Protect!" a $6M Philanthropic Investment in Sustainable Strategies To A   •   US Navy Veterans Lung Cancer Advocate Appeals the Family of a Navy Veteran with Recently Diagnosed Lung Cancer to Call Attorney   •   Tampax Launches Flow It Forward Scholarship Program With UNCF to Support HBCU Students Pursuing Healthcare Careers   •   Leonardo DRS Announces Support of Homes For Our Troops   •   FXAIR Launches “Hamptons 10-Pack,” Guaranteed Premium Helicopter Access From New York City to The Hamptons This Summ   •   Bank of America Announces $4.2 Million Commitment to Expand Tech Career Opportunities for Students of Color Through Innovative P   •   Sentry Becomes Official Title Sponsor Of Wisconsin State Women's Open, Deepens Commitment To Women's Golf
Bookmark and Share

Crack, Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity Undermines Criminal Justice System

Crack, Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity Undermines Criminal Justice System


U.S. Sentencing Commission Must Urge Congress To Eliminate Racially Biased Federal Sentencing Laws, ACLU Testifies
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2009
 
CONTACT: Linda Paris, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org
 
WASHINGTON – Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, testified today before the U.S. Sentencing Commission about the need for Congressional action to eliminate both the unjust crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity and the mandatory minimum sentences for narcotics. 
 
“The creation of crack cocaine mandatory minimum sentences, developed in the wake of a flood of misinformation, illustrates the need for the Commission and Congress to base sentences on facts not fear,” said Fredrickson. “Only when sentences reflect a review of the best pharmacological and social science evidence will the perception and reality of racial bias be eliminated.”
 
Under current federal law, a first time simple possession of five grams of crack cocaine requires the same five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence as a person in possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine. The injustices of this 100-to-1 disparity, based upon incorrect presumptions about the nature of two forms of the same drug, disproportionately impacts blacks, even though the majority of crack users are white.
 
In testimony, Fredrickson pointed to the growing opposition to the current federal cocaine sentencing laws. The increasing number of voices calling for an end to the crack disparity and mandatory minimums includes judges, members of Congress, and policymakers in the White House and the Department of Justice. Fredrickson advocated for the Commission, as the definitive authority on federal sentencing, to add its voice to those urging Congress to act. Recently, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced a bill designed to equalize the crack and powder sentencing laws, called the Drug Sentencing Reform and Cocaine Kingpin Trafficking Act of 2009.
 
“We recognize that we are engaged in an incremental process to correct 20-year old failed drug policy,” testified Fredrickson. “We believe that the first step should be the passage of Representative Jackson Lee’s Drug Sentencing Reform and Cocaine Kingpin Trafficking Act of 2009. We hope that in recommending its passage to Congress, the Commission will emphasize that the Jackson-Lee bill is a first step towards an end that will only be achieved when mandatory minimums are also eliminated.”
 
The hearing, held at Stanford Law School on May 27-28, was the second in a series of regional public hearings on federal sentencing policy.
 

Fredrickson’s testimony is available online at:http://www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/sentencing/39690leg20090528.html



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News