Tag: crack powder penalties

Obama Backs Crack-Powder Cocaine Equalization at Today's Hearing

As I wrote yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing this morning on the need to revise the disparate 100:1 ratio of penalties for crack and powder cocaine. Here is Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer's written testimony.

The Administration believes Congress’s goal should be to completely eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine.

Until that change from Congress comes:

However, we recognize that federal courts have the authority to sentence outside the guidelines in crack cases or even to create their own quantity ratio. Our prosecutors will inform courts that they should act within their discretion to fashion a sentence that is consistent with the objectives of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and our prosecutors will bring the relevant case-specific facts to the courts’ attention.


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