Thursday, April 30, 2009

OBAMA WOULD END EXTRA COCAINE PENALTY FOR CRACK

Washington Post - Justice Department officials yesterday endorsed for the first time a plan that would eliminate vast sentencing disparities between possession of powdered cocaine and rock cocaine, an inequity that civil rights groups say has affected poor and minority defendants disproportionately. Lanny A. Breuer, the new chief of the criminal division, told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that the Obama administration would support bills to equalize punishment for offenders convicted of possessing the drug in either form, fulfilling one of the president's campaign pledges. Breuer explicitly called on Congress to act this term to "completely eliminate" the sentencing disparity.

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