Today's Date: November 27, 2021
Canada Post makes mail and parcel delivery more accessible to all customers   •   Economic growth in Quebec's Indigenous communities--The Government of Canada announces the renewal of the True North Treasure an   •   Flora Growth Forms JV With Avaria Health and Beauty to Distribute Award-Winning Pain Products Across LATAM   •   Is Your Thanksgiving Stuffing Contaminated With Toxic Lead?   •   Online store pauses sales during busiest buying days, encourages shoppers to send 5,000 care packages to children   •   Rainer Hughes kicks off with its initiative: Little Steps To nurture the stars of tomorrow   •   Integrity Announces Donation of $100,000 to Purchase Toys for Children's Health to Comfort Young Patients   •   Guess?, Inc. Announces Participation at the Morgan Stanley Virtual Global Consumer & Retail Conference   •   Treasury Board of Canada President, Mona Fortier, tables the Supplementary Estimates (B) 2021-22   •   Capstone CEO To Report on Smart Mirror Launch   •   Torrid Announces Reporting Date for Third Quarter Fiscal 2021 Financial Results   •   Affordable ZTE Blade A7P Android Smartphone Arrives for the Holidays   •   Walmart To Participate in Both the Stephens Investment Conference and the Morgan Stanley Virtual Global Consumer & Retail Co   •   Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada - Importance of COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnant, Recently Pregnant and   •   Establishment Labs Announces Participation in the Stephens Annual Investment Conference   •   spermidineLIFE® Immunity+ and spermidineLIFE® Memory+ Launch in U.S.   •   Mary Kay Inc. and the Mary Kay Ash Foundation Further Commit to the Prevention and Elimination of Global Gender-Based Violence   •   Prime Minister and Premier of British Columbia announce new committee to address extreme weather and climate resilience in the p   •   Academy Awards® Accredited Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia presents Japan Cultural Expo Project: Creation of Stories A   •   Native Americans - Absent in Higher Education
Bookmark and Share

SC Eliminates Crack/Powder Sentencing Disparity And Mandatory Minimums

Posted by Bennett Johnston, civilrights.org

South Carolina has enacted a new law overhauling the state's drug sentencing policy, eliminating sentencing disparities between powder and crack cocaine and removing mandatory minimum sentences for first-time offenders.

The state's lawmakers passed the legislation last week by a wide margin in an effort to curtail South Carolina's increasing prison population and reduce its billion-dollar budget shortfall. Supporters say the measure will save South Carolina taxpayers more than $400 million over the next four years.

The law is designed to reduce the number of non-violent, first-time offenders incarcerated.  "Unless we're going to build a bunch more jails, we've got to look at alternatives," Gov. Mark Sanford said before signing the bill. "This bill does that."

With the passage of the new measure, South Carolina joins a majority of states that draw no distinctions in sentencing between the two forms of the drug. In other states, regulations vary widely, with some enforcing sentencing guidelines that set the crack cocaine/powder cocaine disparity as high as 75-1 (in Missouri) and others as low as 2-1 (in Virginia).

Forty states have mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses involving powder or crack cocaine, and before the new law was passed, possession of less than a gram of crack cocaine in South Carolina carried a mandatory maximum of five years in prison, while the same weight of powder triggered only a two-year sentence.

At the federal level, there is currently a 100-1 disparity in sentencing between the two forms of the drug.  Defendants convicted for possessing just five grams of crack cocaine – less than the weight of two sugar packet – are subject to a five-year mandatory minimum sentence.  Yet, a defendant selling powder cocaine has to be caught selling 100 times as much, or 500 grams, to get the same sentence.

Civil rights groups have long supported eliminating mandatory minimums because of their disproportionate effect on racial minorities. Pending in Congress now is a bill that will eliminate mandatory minimums from federal cocaine sentences for simple possession and reduce the disparity from 100-1 to 18-1.  



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
Breaking News
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