Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity

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Alabama Townhall meeting on Discriminatory Federal Drug Sentencing

The ACLU Washington Legislative Office and the ACLU of Alabama will host a townhall meeting in Birmingham, Alabama on the need to repair the current discriminatory federal drug sentencing policy. The event is open to the press, and ACLU speakers will be available afterwards for interviews. Speakers include: -Senator Jeff Sessions (R - AL) (invited) -Ed Vaughan, President, Alabama State Conference NAACP -State Representative Artur Davis, (D - Birmingham) -Dr. Ralph Hendrix, University of Alabama at Birmingham -Deborah Vagins, Policy Council for Civil Rights, ACLU Washington Legislative Office -Barry Hargrove, Field Organizer, ACLU Washington Legislative Office Currently, distributing just five grams of crack carries a minimum five-year federal prison sentence, while distributing 500 grams of powder cocaine carries the same sentence. Despite repeated recommendations by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Congress has not addressed this 100:1 sentencing disparity, which has devastated African-American communities and undermined faith in the criminal justice system. African-Americans comprise the vast majority of those convicted of crack cocaine offenses, although whites and Hispanics form the majority of crack users. A 2006 ACLU report found no medical or legal justification for the unfair sentencing disparity ratio. Although Congress stated intent was to target high-level cocaine traffickers, the result has been just the opposite - a 2002 USSC report found that only 15 percent of federal cocaine traffickers can be classified as high-level, while over 70 percent of crack defendants have low-level involvement in drug activity, such as street level dealers, couriers, or lookouts. The ACLU report, "Cracks in the System: Twenty Years of the Unjust Federal Crack Cocaine Law," is available at: http://www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/sentencing/27181pub20061026.html
Date: 
Sat, 06/02/2007 - 9:00am - 3:00pm
Location: 
112 14th Street, North
Birmingham, AL 35203
United States

Feature: US Sentencing Commission Again Calls on Congress to Fix Crack-Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

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the late Lillie Blevins, served life sentence for a crack cocaine ''conspiracy'' after being convicted on the word of a snitch who received probation in return (courtesy november.org)
In its annual report to Congress, the US Sentencing Commission has once again called on legislators to reduce the tough penalties for federal crack cocaine offenses. The commission's previous calls to fix the 100:1 disparity between the amount of crack and the amount of powder cocaine necessary to trigger mandatory minimum sentences have either been ignored or slapped down by previous Congresses. Whether the new Democratic majority in Congress will allow reform to be accomplished this year remains to be seen.

Under federal law in effect since 1987, someone charged with possessing five grams of crack faces a mandatory minimum five-year sentence. By contrast, it takes 500 grams of powder cocaine -- one hundred times as much -- to trigger the same sentence.

While the Sentencing Commission cannot itself enact changes in the crack cocaine law -- that's up to Congress -- it has already signaled its impatience with congressional inaction. A little more than two weeks ago, the commission adjusted federal sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine offenses so that crack offenders will serve on average about a year less than under the old guidelines. That move alone will provide small relief to thousands of federal crack prisoners.

But the real problem is the harsh mandatory minimums for federal crack offenses. The Sentencing Commission found that:

  1. The current quantity-based penalties overstate the relative harmfulness of crack cocaine compared to powder cocaine.
  2. The current quantity-based penalties sweep too broadly and apply most often to lower level offenders.
  3. The current quantity-based penalties overstate the seriousness of most crack cocaine offenses and fail to provide adequate proportionality.
  4. The current severity of crack cocaine penalties mostly impacts minorities.

"Based on these findings," the report read, "the Commission maintains its consistently held position that the 100-to-1 drug quantity ratio significantly undermines the various congressional objectives set forth in the Sentencing Reform Act." While noting that setting appropriate thresholds is "a difficult and imprecise undertaking that ultimately is a policy decision," the Commission nevertheless "strongly and unanimously" urged Congress to adopt the following recommendations:

  1. Increase the five-year and ten-year statutory mandatory minimum threshold quantities for crack cocaine offenses to focus the penalties more closely on serious and major traffickers as described generally in the legislative history of the 1986 Act.
  2. Repeal the mandatory minimum penalty provision for simple possession of crack cocaine under 21 U.S.C. § 844.
  3. Reject addressing the 100-to-1 drug quantity ratio by decreasing the five-year and ten-year statutory mandatory minimum threshold quantities for powder cocaine offenses, as there is no evidence to justify such an increase in quantity-based penalties for powder cocaine offenses (e.g., don't increase powder cocaine sentences).

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graph from report, crack cocaine amounts nearly invisible next to the powder amounts
Groups that have long advocated for reform of the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity and the removal of mandatory minimum sentences reacted with pleasure mixed with a hint of impatience. They have been waiting a long time for action on this front.

"The prisoners, children and families torn apart by these unjustifiably harsh penalties are watching closely and will welcome crack sentencing reforms that restore some justice to crack penalties," said Mary Price, vice president and general counsel of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). "Only Congress can change our harsh mandatory minimum crack laws. Lawmakers should not squander the important opportunity presented by the most recent set of findings and recommendations by the Sentencing Commission. The time is ripe for reform, especially given the bipartisan support for crack sentencing reform that has emerged in recent years."

"The current sentencing structure has had a disproportionate and unfair impact on African-American and low income communities," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, "and we're encouraged that the US Sentencing Commission has once again acknowledged this fact. But 2007 marks the fourth time in 20 years that the commission has issued such a report, and Congress has yet to address the problem. Years of medical and legal research have shown no appreciable difference between crack and powder cocaine, and no justification for allowing the vast sentencing gap between them to stand. We urge Congress to put aside politics and act now to fix this discriminatory federal drug sentencing policy."

But it is not reform advocates but members of Congress who will or will not enact most reforms. While in the past, Congress has rejected such recommendations from the Commission, there are some indications support for reforms is growing.

"It's past time to reduce the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences actually," Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions told National Public Radio, "because the penalties on crack cocaine are extraordinarily heavy -- too heavy to be justified as public policy." His colleagues should listen to the Commission, Sessions added. Sessions has already introduced a bill that would reduce the disparity to 20:1.

Another key player, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the legal publication the Daily Journal the report's findings were "an important first step" in correcting the sentencing disparity. "For far too long, the federal crack/powder sentencing laws have created an injustice in our nation," he said. Leahy said he hopes that federal prosecutors will focus more on drug kingpins.

Sen. Joe Biden (D-Delaware), who has announced his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, has also weighed in. "This 100:1 disparity is unjust, unfair, and the time has long past for it to be undone," Biden said in a Tuesday press release. "The current sentencing disparity between the two forms of cocaine is based on false notions and old logic," said Sen. Biden. "Congress has ignored this issue for too long. I intend to introduce legislation to remedy the disparity and refocus the federal cocaine sentencing laws and federal resources on major drug kingpins, as was the intent of the 1986 law. I look forward to working with my colleagues -- Republicans and Democrats -- and urge them to support righting this wrong."

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/crackcocaine.jpg
DEA crack cocaine photo
"There is indeed growing support for reducing the disparities," said Bill Piper, head of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. "Biden, Sessions, and Sen. Hatch [R-Utah] are all working on bills, and so is Charley Rangel [D-New York] in the House," he told Drug War Chronicle. "There is growing support in the judiciary committees for doing something."

But, Piper warned, the devil is in the details. "They agree that something needs to be done, but I'm not sure they will reach agreement on what needs to be done. Then it would have to pass floor votes, and then we have to wonder if Bush would veto it," he said. "But when you have the Sentencing Commission and leading Republicans signing off on something, the Democrats should be emboldened. That shows this is a bipartisan effort."

Even the Justice Department is wavering. While Piper noted that the department has long taken the position that there was no problem, department spokesman Bryan Sierra told the Daily Journal this week that the agency is "willing to discuss the disparity in the ratio for sentencing between crack and powder cocaine," but he added that the department believes that "it should be done in the broader context of sentencing reform."

For the fourth time since 1995, the Sentencing Commission has urged Congress to act to reduce the disparity and bring greater fairness to sentencing. Now it is in Congress' hands.

DPA Press Release: US Sentencing Commission urges Congress to Reduce Crack/Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2007 Contact: Jasmine L. Tyler at 202-294-8292 US Sentencing Commission urges Congress to Reduce Crack/Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity Experts to Brief Congress on Current Cocaine Policy and the Need for Reform Washington, DC—Criminal justice experts will hold briefings on the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity for Congressional staffers on Monday, May 21. They will discuss the United States Sentencing Commission’s (USSC) May 2007 Guideline Amendment and Report to Congress. Joining the panel will be Hilary Shelton from the NAACP, Pat Nolan from Prison Fellowship, and Lisa Rich from the USSC. These briefings will be moderated by Jessalyn McCurdy of the ACLU and Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project. The briefing is co-sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance. ********************************************************************* WHAT: Reforming Crack and Powder Cocaine Sentencing Briefing for Congressional staffers WHO: Members of Congress and staff, media, policy advocates, stakeholders, treatment providers, faith leaders When: Monday, May 21 House Briefing: 9 a.m. - B340 Rayburn House Office Building Senate Briefing: 2 p.m. - 485 Russell Senate Office Building ********************************************************************* Twenty years ago when the crack cocaine sentencing laws were first passed by Congress, the United States faced a panic about the alleged “crack epidemic” and operated under the impression that crack had inherent properties that made it infinitely more dangerous than powder cocaine. These reports, which served as the basis for the huge disparity, have since been found to be fundamentally flawed, rendering the 100-to-1 disparity arbitrary and capricious. Further, these laws have proven ineffective in reducing drug use or distribution and have instead exacerbated racial disparity and injustices in our criminal justice system. The USSC has taken the lead on eliminating the crack/powder sentencing disparity by amending the federal sentencing guidelines to lessen the punishment range for crack cocaine cases by approximately one to two years. The Commission also urged Congress to reform federal mandatory minimum sentences to reduce the statutory disparity. Currently, there is growing bipartisan support for reforming the crack/powder disparity. There are two house bills pending and a similar one before the Senate. # # #
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

FAMM urges Congress to heed message from Commission, New report finds crack disparity unjustifiable, up to Congress to fix the problem

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Federal crack cocaine penalties overstate the harmfulness of the drug, apply mostly to low-level offenders, and hit minorities hardest, concludes the U.S. Sentencing Commission in a new report to Congress, "Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy," released today, May 15. Based on these findings, the Commission maintains it's consistently held position that current crack cocaine penalties significantly undermine the congressional objectives of the Sentencing Reform Act, including fairness, uniformity and proportionality. The solution? Congress should act, says the report. Mary Price, vice president and general counsel of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), a national, nonpartisan sentencing reform organization, says, "The prisoners, children and families torn apart by these unjustifiably harsh penalties are watching closely and will welcome crack sentencing reforms that restore some justice to crack penalties. Only Congress can change our harsh mandatory minimum crack laws. Lawmakers should not squander the important opportunity presented by the most recent set of findings and recommendations by the Sentencing Commission. The time is ripe for reform, especially given the bipartisan support for crack sentencing reform that has emerged in recent years." In its report, the Commission again unanimously and strongly urged Congress to act promptly on the following recommendations: (1) Increase the five-year and ten-year mandatory minimum threshold quantities for crack cocaine offenses to focus the penalties more closely on serious and major traffickers, (2) Repeal the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine and (3) Reject addressing the 100-to-1 disparity by decreasing the five-year and ten-year mandatory minimum threshold quantities for powder cocaine offenses, citing no evidence to justify such an increase in quantity-based penalties for powder cocaine offenses. In addition, the Commission seeks authority to incorporate any future changes to the mandatory minimums for crack into the federal sentencing guidelines. FAMM strongly supports these recommendations and looks forward to working with members of Congress to implement these reasonable and long-overdue reforms to crack cocaine sentencing. Visit www.ussc.gov to read the report. --------------------------------------------------- Note on Second Chance Act H.R. 1593, the Second Chance Act, was pulled from the floor of the House of Representatives before it was voted on. FAMM is investigating this unexpected action and will follow up with more information on www.famm.org and ealerts. --------------------------------------------------- What is FAMM? FAMM is the national voice for fair and proportionate sentencing laws. We shine a light on the human face of sentencing, advocate for state and federal sentencing reform and mobilize thousands of individuals and families whose lives are adversely affected by unjust sentences. For more information, visit www.famm.org or email famm@famm.org.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Congressional Staff Briefing (Senate): Reforming Crack Cocaine Sentencing

On May 15, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) updated its 2002 Report to Congress on Federal Cocaine Sentencing. The USSC report once again finds that there is no rationale for the sentencing differences between the two forms of the drug. Under current law, possessing or selling 5 grams of crack cocaine results in the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as selling 500 grams of powder cocaine. The law harshly punishes low-level offenders, and has had a disparate impact on African-American and low-income communities. Join us in a frank discussion on avenues for reform of this unjust law. Speakers to include: Lisa Rich, United States Sentencing Commission Hillary Shelton (Invited), NAACP, Washington Office Pat Nolan, Prison Fellowship Moderated by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project & Jesselyn McCurdy of the ACLU RSVP by May 18 to Vee Campbell (vcampbell@osi-dc.org) or call (202) 721-5649.
Date: 
Mon, 05/21/2007 - 2:00pm
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Congressional Staff Briefing (House): Reforming Crack Cocaine Sentencing

On May 15, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) updated its 2002 Report to Congress on Federal Cocaine Sentencing. The USSC report once again finds that there is no rationale for the sentencing differences between the two forms of the drug. Under current law, possessing or selling 5 grams of crack cocaine results in the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as selling 500 grams of powder cocaine. The law harshly punishes low-level offenders, and has had a disparate impact on African-American and low-income communities. Join us in a frank discussion on avenues for reform of this unjust law. Speakers to include: Lisa Rich, United States Sentencing Commission Hillary Shelton (Invited), NAACP, Washington Office Pat Nolan, Prison Fellowship Moderated by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project & Jesselyn McCurdy of the ACLU RSVP by May 18 to Vee Campbell (vcampbell@osi-dc.org) or call (202) 721-5649.
Date: 
Mon, 05/21/2007 - 9:00am
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Big News: Sentencing Commission Crack Cocaine Sentencing Report is Out

This issue has dragged on for too long -- I've been working on it since 1994, and that wasn't the beginning of it. Hopefully this new report from the US Sentencing Commission will help bring about some change, even if still woefully insufficient. Commentary I have seen online at the time of this writing:
Prof. Doug Berman on the Sentencing Law and Policy blog Alex Coolman on Drug Law Blog Jeralyn Merritt on TalkLeft Families Against Mandatory Minimums press release
Also our feature story on USSC's recommendations to Congress on the issue, effective unless Congress votes to block them, Drug War Chronicle issue before last. Talk amongst yourselves... :)
Location: 
United States

FedCURE News: Prospective and Retroactive Application of the New USSC Crack Cocaine Guideline Amendment

On 27 April 2007, the US Sentencing Commission (USSC) voted to approve an amendment of the crack cocaine guidelines to lower applicable sentence ranges. In its press release (http://www.ussc.gov/PRESS/rel0407.htm), the USSC announced that a forthcoming report "will set forth current data and information that continue to support the Commission's consistently held position that the 100-to-1 crack-powder drug quantity ratio significantly undermines various congressional objectives set forth in the Sentencing Reform Act and elsewhere." The report has not been published as of this date. FedCURE will post the report as soon as it becomes available. You can check the USSC site at: http://www.ussc.gov. Because of Booker and various retroactivity rules, it is uncertain as to how the crack amendment will impact present and past cases. Prospectively, the new guidelines could effect 4,000 to 5,000 federal sentencing cases every year. The USSC has authority to make amendments retroactive, albeit, rarely does. The USSC 27 April 2007 press release does not address the issue of retroactivity, and those currently incarcerated for crack offense--some 50,000 to 60,000 federal offenders--are anxious to know. Hopefully the much anticipated USSC report will answer this question and more. It is noted here that the USSC guideline amendment is only a proposal to Congress. The House and the Senate would have to enact specific bills to defeat the amendment. Congress will have six months to consider the amendment. However, the law states that if Congress takes no action before 01 November 2007, the amendment automatically takes effect on 01 November 2007. FedCURE P.O. Box 15667 Plantation, Florida 33318-5667 USA Web Site: http://www.FedCURE.org E-mail: FedCURE@FedCURE.org
Location: 
United States

Feature: US Sentencing Commission Announces Reduction in Crack Cocaine Sentences

In an annual report sent to Congress Monday, the US Sentencing Commission announced it had amended federal sentencing guidelines to lower the sentences imposed on people convicted of federal crack cocaine offenses. Unless Congress takes affirmative action to block the move, it will go into effect on November 1. The report also urged Congress to address the 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/lenbias.jpg
The tragic death of basketball star Len Bias in the 1980s prompted passage of the harsh crack sentencing law. But Bias actually overdosed on powder cocaine. (photo from ONDCP's ''Pushing Back'' web site)
Under the controversial crack laws, people convicted of distribution offenses involving five grams of the drug face five-year mandatory minimum prison sentences, while it takes 500 grams of powder cocaine to trigger the same penalty. Similarly, someone convicted of distributing more than 50 grams of crack faces a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, while it would take five kilograms of powder cocaine to get the 10 years.

But while the congressionally mandated sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine is extreme, federal sentencing guidelines make it even worse for the low-level offenders caught under the federal crack laws. The guidelines currently call for a sentencing range of 63 to 78 months for five grams and 121 to 151 months for 50 grams. In both cases, the bottom of the guideline range falls above the mandatory minimum sentence set by Congress.

In an April 27 meeting, the Sentencing Commission voted to reduce the guideline ranges to 51 to 63 months and 97 to 121 months, respectively. Under this scheme, what is currently the low end of the guideline range will become the top end. According to the commission, 78% of federal crack defendants will benefit from the change, with sentence reductions averaging 16 months. With some 5,000 people being convicted under the federal crack laws each year, the move will have an impact.

That is, unless Congress moves to block it. On four previous occasions, the Sentencing Commission has recommended changes to lessen the gap between powder and crack cocaine offenses, but Congress blocked each of those initiatives. It also punished the commission for its temerity in suggesting that the crack-powder disparity be eliminated in 1995 by allowing the commission to dwindle to one member.

"The Commission has long recognized that the current guidelines scheme is unjust, and an amendment is long overdue," said Carmen Hernandez, president-elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL) in a speech responding to the sentencing changes. "Nowhere is this more apparent than in the fact that 83% of inmates serving time in the federal system for crack cocaine are minorities, and their sentences are more than 50% longer than inmates serving time for cocaine powder, even though crack defendants tend to be low-level street dealers. In fact, the average sentence for possession of crack cocaine is far longer than the average sentences for violent crimes such as robbery and sexual abuse," she noted.

"NACDL urges Congress to respect the Commission's decision, which was made after consideration of the testimony and evidence that it has reviewed at Congress' direction for more than a decade and allow these amendments to go into effect," the group said in a press release. "We also recommend to Congress that it carefully consider the reports and evidence the Commission has compiled."

Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), a group whose name is self-explanatory, greeted the amendment by noting that is "has been a long time coming." FAMM noted that the commission considered the sentencing change as "a modest step toward alleviating some of the disparity in sentencing of crack defendants but it is not a solution to the problem because Congress needs to address the mandatory minimum sentencing statutes, over which the Commission has no control." The group will urge Congress to take action to further reform crack mandatory minimums, it said.

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federal prison dorm
"This is a pretend reform; it isn't enough," said Nora Callahan, executive director of the November Coalition, a drug reform group concentrating on freeing drug war prisoners. "This is dramatically less than what the commission asked for in 1994, and it is just heartbreaking that we haven't come any further than this. They think they can throw us a bone and we'll calm down for another 10 years, but we're not going to calm down," she told Drug War Chronicle.

The Sentencing Commission has been cowed by Congress and should be revamped, Callahan said. "We need a brand new, independent commission that can't be intimidated," she argued. "When this commission recommended dramatic reform a few years ago, Congress not only didn't do it, but it spanked them hard and ended up politicizing the commission, and the commission learned its lesson: Just ask for a little bit and tell Congress 'you fix it,'" she said.

A new commission should be modeled on police oversight boards and state sentencing commissions, Callahan suggested. It should include former prisoners and family members, too. "These people need to be on the commission, as do the people who are dealing with all the offenders coming back into the community," she said.

While Congress has for the past two decades given little heed to concerns about the crack-powder sentencing disparity and its disproportionate impact on minority communities, there could be some movement this year, said Bill Piper, head of government relations for the Drug Policy Alliance.

"Rep. Rangel introduced a bill months ago that would eliminate the disparity," he told the Chronicle. "And Sen. Sessions has told the press he will introduce some sort of reform bill at some point. I suspect that now that the full report has come out, there will probably be some hearings. Rep. Conyers has suggested that might happen, but no hearing dates have been set yet," he explained.

"My sense is that the stars are starting to align themselves in a very good way," Piper prophesied. "There is interest in this in both the House and Senate judiciary committees, including among some Republicans. Now, the Sentencing Commission report is in. It is just a matter of when the process will start and finish," he said. "Still, I don't think anyone believes we will see it actually pass this year, and if it did, Bush would veto it."

While it appears unlikely Congress will act to redress the inequities of the federal crack laws this year, it seems equally unlikely to move affirmatively to block the Sentencing Commission's minor sentencing reform. Now, after two decades that have seen thousands of young black and brown people sent up the river for years for picayune crack offenses, it looks like the tide is beginning to turn.

FAMM eGram: U.S. Sentencing Commission votes for changes to crack cocaine guidelines

[Courtesy of Families Against Mandatory Minimums] WASHINGTON, D.C.: For the first time in 12 years, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has approved guideline changes to federal crack cocaine penalties, tonight by a 6-1 vote. The amendment affects approximately 78 percent of defendants convicted of crack cocaine offenses, reducing their sentences by an average of 16 months. It will now be sent to Congress on May 1, 2007, along with other proposed sentencing amendments. "While this incremental change is a far cry from the 'equalization' of crack and powder cocaine the Commission recommended in 1995, it is a long overdue first step to improving crack sentences," said Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), a national, nonpartisan sentencing reform organization. For 15 years the Commission has researched crack cocaine and its penalties and concluded current federal crack sentences are unjustifiable. Among the findings from its 2002 report to Congress, "Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy," are that crack penalties 1. exaggerate the relative harmfulness of crack cocaine 2. sweep too broadly and apply most often to lower level offenders 3. overstate the seriousness of most crack cocaine offenses and fail to provide adequate proportionality 4. and mostly impact minorities Despite this evidence, Congress and the U.S. Sentencing Commission have been in a stalemate for a dozen years over how to improve crack sentences. During that time, nearly 56,000 people were sentenced under the harsh federal crack cocaine statutes and guidelines. Now, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has taken the bold step of saying enough is enough. "While the Commission’s amendment does not solve the problem of excessive crack cocaine penalties it moves us closer to that goal, which is why FAMM supports the Commission's crack amendment," says Stewart. Congress has six months to consider the amendments before they automatically take effect on November 1, 2007. Congress would have to pass bills in both the House and Senate to stop the amendment. It is highly unlikely such an action will happen this year. If passed, the amendment will not affect people sentenced before November 1, 2007. The U.S. Sentencing Commission’s crack guideline amendment will be accompanied by language to Congress that urges them to address the crack cocaine mandatory minimum. Combined changes to the sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum statutes for crack cocaine would result in more appropriate penalties for roughly 5,000 defendants who face crack sentences each year. With their faces in mind, FAMM applauds the Commission for acting on an injustice that can no longer be tolerated. Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes just sentencing policies. For more information, visit: www.famm.org.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

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