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Crack Laws Revised By Supreme Court

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This is a pretty significant thing actually and surprising it took this long. Our drug laws are stupid anyway, but none the less...


The Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal judges can impose shorter sentences for crack cocaine crimes, making them more in line with those for powder cocaine — a decision with a strong racial dimension because the vast majority of crack offenders are black.

The court, by 7-2 votes in the crack case and one other involving drugs, upheld more lenient sentences imposed by judges who rejected federal sentencing guidelines as too harsh.


The decision was announced ahead of a vote scheduled for Tuesday by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which sets the guidelines, that could cut prison time for as many as 19,500 federal inmates convicted of crack crimes.


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the majority in the crack case, said a 15-year sentence given to Derrick Kimbrough was acceptable, even though federal sentencing guidelines called for Kimbrough to receive 19 to 22 years.


"In making that determination, the judge may consider the disparity between the guidelines' treatment of crack and powder cocaine offenses," Ginsburg said.


More: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17097166&ft=1&f=1070

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