Rep. Rangel Seeks End to Cocaine Sentencing Disparities 3/19/99

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

(reprinted from the Drug Policy Foundation's Network News, http://www.dpf.org)

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 939, the "Crack Cocaine Equitable Sentencing Act of 1999" on March 2, along with 25 Democratic cosponsors. Rangel introduced a similar bill in 1997, but did not get a hearing in the Republican-controlled Congress.

The bill would eliminate the distinction between powder cocaine and crack cocaine, treating both substances equally under federal law. Right now, possession of five grams of crack cocaine carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence, while 500 grams of powder cocaine receives the same sentence. Possession of 50 grams of crack cocaine results in a 10-year mandatory minimum, but it takes five kilograms of powder cocaine to receive a comparable sentence. This difference in penalties is commonly referred
to as the "100-to-1 sentencing disparity," and it has disproportionately impacted African-American defendants who are often targeted by drug law enforcement.

Rep. Rangel's bill is not the first attempt to equalize crack and powder cocaine sentences. In April 1995, the US Sentencing Commission recommended that the 100-to-1 ratio be abandoned in favor of equal penalties for both forms of cocaine. On October 30, 1995, Congress passed, and the President signed, a law (PL 104-38) overturning that decision, which resulted in the largest prison riots in the history of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Learn more about mandatory minimum sentencing from Families Against Mandatory Minimums, http://www.famm.org.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #83, 3/19/99 Announcements | Institute of Medicine Report Confirms Marijuana's Medicinal Value | HEA Reform Bill Introduced in Congress | Rep. Rangel Seeks End to Cocaine Sentencing Disparities | Canada: Husband of Medical Marijuana User Arrested as Government Announces Clinical Trials, Possible Medical Exemption | Minnesota Hemp Bill Progressing | DPF Grant Deadline Coming Up | Editorial: IOM Report Leaves Only One Thing Left to Say
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]