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.
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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
StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC
http://stopthedrugwar.org

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.

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