Last Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing

This hearing on Justice Dept. oversight turned out to be rather encouraging for sentencing reform. Sen. Jeff Sessions asked AG Gonzales about the Department's position on ending the crack/cocaine sentencing disparity. He said he would be happy to conference about it. When pressed he said he didn't think it should be changed. He then proceeded to make John Walters proud. Sen. Leahy was having none of it. He said we know where cocaine is. It's in the boardrooms, on the yachts and etc. He went on to state that cocaine users are more likely to be able to better defend themselves on charges. Gonzales couldn't say anything more. Seeing an Alabama Republican pose this question, and Leahy back him up was wonderful. The wheels certainly grind slowly, but they DO grind. I don't know where this will lead, but seeing it discussed by two prominent members on the committee even for a minute shows the prohibitionists propaganda fog is slowly lifting.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

It is strange to see Sen.

It is strange to see Sen. Sessions to turn around on this. Remember long time ago when he was a young men, the Judiciary Committee then rejected the nomination of him to a judgeship because of "gross racial insensitivity". And in the hearing to confirm Karen Tandy (or someone else), he blasted medical marijuana. Now we see him have a better view on sentencing, probably he should also change his view on the other issues?

borden's picture

somewhat better

Sessions has gotten somewhat better, but in the grand scheme of things he's not all that good. His proposed reform of crack sentencing does not go to the full one-to-one equivalency with powder cocaine sentencing (which is bad enough).

David Borden, Executive Director the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC

puregenius's picture

Sessions surprised me too

I definitely didn't expect it from him. I can't say I'm surprised that he isn't ready to support making the penalties even. For some reason so many of these legislators want to hold on to some piece of that discrimination.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School