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(Think Progress)   In 2010 the crack vs cocaine sentencing disparity was reduced to a mere 18:1. We've since saved half a billion dollars and 16,000 prison-years   (thinkprogress.org) divider line 74
    More: Obvious, sentencing disparity, Federal Bureau of Prisons, court ruling, minimum sentence, cocaine, drug-related crime, D-IL, Fair Sentencing Act  
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988 clicks; posted to Politics » on 03 Aug 2013 at 3:31 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-03 10:02:02 AM  
Coworker of mine works on the sentencing reduction project. He's a genius lawyer, insanely dedicated. The results of the sentencing reductions have been nothing short of a miracle for the people stuck in jail based on deliberately racist laws.
 
2013-08-03 10:40:02 AM  

Rincewind53: Coworker of mine works on the sentencing reduction project. He's a genius lawyer, insanely dedicated. The results of the sentencing reductions have been nothing short of a miracle for the people stuck in jail based on deliberately racist laws.


Shakespeare maintains the lead in the "How to fix the legal system." department. Howard Taylor comes in with the silver medal. But if your friend wants to run for a number 3 spot he's got my vote.
 
2013-08-03 10:50:10 AM  

doglover: Rincewind53: Coworker of mine works on the sentencing reduction project. He's a genius lawyer, insanely dedicated. The results of the sentencing reductions have been nothing short of a miracle for the people stuck in jail based on deliberately racist laws.

Shakespeare maintains the lead in the "How to fix the legal system." department. Howard Taylor comes in with the silver medal. But if your friend wants to run for a number 3 spot he's got my vote.


I've got nothing but respect for the guy. He has personally been responsible for hundreds of years of sentencing reductions.
 
2013-08-03 10:52:51 AM  

Rincewind53: doglover: Rincewind53: Coworker of mine works on the sentencing reduction project. He's a genius lawyer, insanely dedicated. The results of the sentencing reductions have been nothing short of a miracle for the people stuck in jail based on deliberately racist laws.

Shakespeare maintains the lead in the "How to fix the legal system." department. Howard Taylor comes in with the silver medal. But if your friend wants to run for a number 3 spot he's got my vote.

I've got nothing but respect for the guy. He has personally been responsible for hundreds of years of sentencing reductions.


Good. The maximum length of a jail sentence should be the length of a trial plus a week.

If we can release you to a rehabilitation program, we should do that.

If we can't trust you on the outside, you get a week, tops to change our minds. Then the situation is resolved one way or t'other.
 
2013-08-03 11:14:43 AM  

Rincewind53: Coworker of mine works on the sentencing reduction project. He's a genius lawyer, insanely dedicated. The results of the sentencing reductions have been nothing short of a miracle for the people stuck in jail based on deliberately racist laws.


I have boundless admiration for the ones who fight the good fight. These laws are almost genocidal in their scope and impact. Good on him.
 
2013-08-03 01:00:23 PM  

doglover: Shakespeare maintains the lead in the "How to fix the legal system." department.


Okay, that is a common and UTTERLY wrong misconception about that quote. First, Shakespeare didn't "say" it, it was said by Dick the Butcher, a rebel and antagonist against Henry VI under Jack Cade's rebellion, and it was said to demonstrate how important lawyers ARE.


CADE
I thank you, good people: there shall be no money;
all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will
apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree
like brothers and worship me their lord.

DICK
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.


The scene went on to bring innocent people in front of them and sentence them. Why? Because by killing all the lawyers there are none to defend them against tyranny. Directly after that line:


SMITH
The clerk of Chatham: he can write and read and
cast accompt.

CADE
O monstrous!

SMITH
We took him setting of boys' copies.

CADE
Here's a villain!

SMITH
Has a book in his pocket with red letters in't.

CADE
Nay, then, he is a conjurer.

DICK
Nay, he can make obligations, and write court-hand.

CADE
I am sorry for't: the man is a proper man, of mine
honour; unless I find him guilty, he shall not die.
Come hither, sirrah, I must examine thee: what is thy name?

Clerk
Emmanuel.

DICK
They use to write it on the top of letters: 'twill
go hard with you.

CADE
Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name? or
hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest
plain-dealing man?

CLERK
Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up
that I can write my name.

ALL
He hath confessed: away with him! he's a villain
and a traitor.

CADE
Away with him, I say! hang him with his pen and
ink-horn about his neck.


The idea behind that line? Without lawyers, there is nothing to protect people from tyranny in the courts.
 
2013-08-03 01:15:27 PM  
Because black?
 
2013-08-03 01:39:37 PM  

Fo Shiz: Because black?


President Obama is trying to get disparity reduced to 1:1.
Because Black.
 
2013-08-03 03:35:52 PM  
In before the Libertarians come in here and claim doing drugs is a right.
 
2013-08-03 03:39:10 PM  
Anyone whose seen crack heads knows that crack is a lot worse than cocaine. So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way (who cares what the sentences are for plain old coke?) will only increase the availability of crack.

Crack is prevalent in poorer areas, areas where African Americans and other minorities live. So they'll be hit the hardest by continued supply of poison.

Why does Obama hate black people so?
 
2013-08-03 03:41:26 PM  

Outrageous Muff: In before the Libertarians come in here and claim doing drugs is a right.


I'm no libertarian, but I will play the Devil's advocate and pose to you; Why is it the governments role to tell consenting adults what they may or may not ingest?
 
2013-08-03 03:41:42 PM  

Outrageous Muff: In before the Libertarians come in here and claim doing drugs is a right.


How about a historian who points out what horrible failures prohibitions are?
 
2013-08-03 03:44:09 PM  

manbart: I'm no libertarian, but I will play the Devil's advocate and pose to you; Why is it the governments role to tell consenting adults what they may or may not ingest?


Yakk: How about a historian who points out what horrible failures prohibitions are?


Because when was the last time you saw an alcoholic stab someone to death for the money in their pocket to get a bottle of booze?
 
2013-08-03 03:49:08 PM  

Outrageous Muff: manbart: I'm no libertarian, but I will play the Devil's advocate and pose to you; Why is it the governments role to tell consenting adults what they may or may not ingest?

Yakk: How about a historian who points out what horrible failures prohibitions are?

Because when was the last time you saw an alcoholic stab someone to death for the money in their pocket to get a bottle of booze?


When was the last time you saw ANYONE stab someone to death?
 
2013-08-03 03:49:18 PM  

Outrageous Muff: manbart: I'm no libertarian, but I will play the Devil's advocate and pose to you; Why is it the governments role to tell consenting adults what they may or may not ingest?

Yakk: How about a historian who points out what horrible failures prohibitions are?

Because when was the last time you saw an alcoholic stab someone to death for the money in their pocket to get a bottle of booze?



Yes, because everyone who does hard drugs goes out and gets stabby all the time.
 
2013-08-03 04:00:15 PM  

Aristocles: Anyone whose seen crack heads knows that crack is a lot worse than cocaine. So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way (who cares what the sentences are for plain old coke?) will only increase the availability of crack.

Crack is prevalent in poorer areas, areas where African Americans and other minorities live. So they'll be hit the hardest by continued supply of poison.

Why does Obama hate black people so?


He's lying. He's not really black, as I'm sure you could tell us by glancing at his birth certificate. He's really white with a black father; as opposed to being black with a white mother. The difference is much the same as that between a PhD in Religious History, and a PhD in the history of religions, or that between a terrorist attack and an attack by terrorists.

Right?
 
2013-08-03 04:23:39 PM  
The Fair Sentencing Act itself was a good idea long over due.

The fact that it went from being applied to future sentences to retroactively reducing sentences is brilliant.

The proposed Lee-Durbin bill making this the law of the land and allowing Judges greater discretion in sentencing seems like a no-brainer as well.

All in all a very uplifting article.

With and lawmakers from both parties now imploring reform of counterproductive mass incarceration policies, the primary remaining obstacle to at least incremental change may be congressional dysfunction.

Right up to the last line anyways.
 
2013-08-03 04:23:51 PM  

Outrageous Muff: manbart: I'm no libertarian, but I will play the Devil's advocate and pose to you; Why is it the governments role to tell consenting adults what they may or may not ingest?

Yakk: How about a historian who points out what horrible failures prohibitions are?

Because when was the last time you saw an alcoholic stab someone to death for the money in their pocket to get a bottle of booze?


You're right. Usually, alcoholics stab people after they get their hands on the booze.
 
2013-08-03 04:28:14 PM  
I always thought it was because white people bought cocaine in the office parking lot with a check .
Blacks sold  crack with a 9mm held sideways at someone head during tense negotiations.

So when the cases reached the courts the defence and prosecution would have agreed to drop the other charges and go for possession and intent to distribute.

us.cdn2.123rf.com

// Because the real courtroom is in the hallways of the court house.
 
2013-08-03 04:41:17 PM  

Aristocles: Anyone whose seen crack heads knows that crack is a lot worse than cocaine. So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way (who cares what the sentences are for plain old coke?) will only increase the availability of crack.

Crack is prevalent in poorer areas, areas where African Americans and other minorities live. So they'll be hit the hardest by continued supply of poison.

Why does Obama hate black people so?


C'mon, you're not even trying.
 
2013-08-03 04:42:35 PM  

Outrageous Muff: manbart: I'm no libertarian, but I will play the Devil's advocate and pose to you; Why is it the governments role to tell consenting adults what they may or may not ingest?

Yakk: How about a historian who points out what horrible failures prohibitions are?

Because when was the last time you saw an alcoholic stab someone to death for the money in their pocket to get a bottle of booze?


Probably sometime between January 17th 1920 and December 5th 1933.
 
2013-08-03 04:44:04 PM  

Outrageous Muff: manbart: I'm no libertarian, but I will play the Devil's advocate and pose to you; Why is it the governments role to tell consenting adults what they may or may not ingest?

Yakk: How about a historian who points out what horrible failures prohibitions are?

Because when was the last time you saw an alcoholic stab someone to death for the money in their pocket to get a bottle of booze?


Yes, great point, never heard of violence resulting from booze.
 
2013-08-03 04:50:46 PM  

Aristocles: So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way... will only increase the availability of crack.


Because making harsher sentences virtually eliminated the availability of crack or something?

*sigh*

I remember when Fark Trolls at least had some semblance of skill and respect for their craft.

The trolls these days...

*mutters and walks off*
 
2013-08-03 04:52:21 PM  

quatchi: Aristocles: So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way... will only increase the availability of crack.

Because making harsher sentences virtually eliminated the availability of crack or something?


Uh... yeah, it did. 'Member the 80s?
 
2013-08-03 05:11:58 PM  
Right now there are thousands of communities ravaged by the horrors of incarcerating crackheads. If only these crackheads could be allowed to be free and work in these communities.

Someday.

Someday, America will see a rebirth and crackheads will lead the way to a new prosperous future.
 
2013-08-03 05:15:17 PM  
I'm confused. I thought attractive successful people stayed away from crack and mainly did cocaine.  Now I find out it's the crackers who do cocaine and stay away from crack?
 
2013-08-03 05:35:42 PM  
Crack is a drug for people already messed up. It's the methamphetamine of urban folk.
 
2013-08-03 05:45:53 PM  
Remind me. If I want to make a whole bunch of crack, what are the ingredients? I need baking soda, water, and.... I'm drawing a blank. Can anyone help me figure out what the other ingredient is?
 
2013-08-03 05:48:32 PM  
If a society really wants to keep users of physically addictive drugs locked up, they should be in a detox/rehab facility, not in an institution that focuses on punitive retribution.  Also, modern society really needs to figure out why alcohol is legal and other less destructive recreational drugs are not.  It's an amazing bit of hypocrisy.
 
2013-08-03 05:49:55 PM  

thurstonxhowell: Remind me. If I want to make a whole bunch of crack, what are the ingredients? I need baking soda, water, and.... I'm drawing a blank. Can anyone help me figure out what the other ingredient is?


Whitney Houston used to know, but sadly the secret died with her.

/Maybe her cosmetics mogul widower knows too
//It's his prerogative though if he wants to talk
 
2013-08-03 05:50:20 PM  

Aristocles: quatchi: Aristocles: So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way... will only increase the availability of crack.

Because making harsher sentences virtually eliminated the availability of crack or something?

Uh... yeah, it did. 'Member the 80s?


So no one uses crack at all ever now?
 
2013-08-03 05:54:07 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Aristocles: quatchi: Aristocles: So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way... will only increase the availability of crack.

Because making harsher sentences virtually eliminated the availability of crack or something?

Uh... yeah, it did. 'Member the 80s?

So no one uses crack at all ever now?


Nope. Especially people who buy coke. They never use crack. Honestly, I don't even see the relationship between the two.

Now, back to trying to remember that third ingredient...
 
2013-08-03 06:15:35 PM  

Aristocles: Anyone whose seen crack heads knows that crack is a lot worse than cocaine. So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way (who cares what the sentences are for plain old coke?) will only increase the availability of crack.

Crack is prevalent in poorer areas, areas where African Americans and other minorities live. So they'll be hit the hardest by continued supply of poison.

Why does Obama hate black people so?

 
Dude. Quiet.  It is the same drug, the differences are merely processing and packaging.
 
2013-08-03 06:19:49 PM  

Zeb Hesselgresser: Aristocles: Anyone whose seen crack heads knows that crack is a lot worse than cocaine. So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way (who cares what the sentences are for plain old coke?) will only increase the availability of crack.

Crack is prevalent in poorer areas, areas where African Americans and other minorities live. So they'll be hit the hardest by continued supply of poison.

Why does Obama hate black people so?
 
Dude. Quiet.  It is the same drug, the differences are merely processing and packaging.


It's almost like cocaine users tend to be wealthier and better-connected, so they don't have to resort to violence to feed their habit.
 
2013-08-03 06:29:06 PM  

Aristocles: Uh... yeah, it did. 'Member the 80s?


Are you talking about the singular nation altering moment in the stunningly effective "Just Say No" campaign when a Very Special episode of Different Strokes featuring Nancy Reagan changed hearts and minds forever and totally eliminated the blight of crack cocaine from the American landscape?

Cos ...no. I don't remember that.

I do remember a fark-ton of mostly GOP morons pushing for and getting a bunch of mandatory minimum laws and crack laws that were, in effect, racist and ridiculously punitive.

Bad laws that we are finally seeing some redress from here many, many years later.
 
2013-08-03 06:30:37 PM  

Mrbogey: Right now there are thousands of communities ravaged by the horrors of incarcerating crackheads. If only these crackheads could be allowed to be free and work in these communities.

Someday.

Someday, America will see a rebirth and crackheads will lead the way to a new prosperous future.


Will they perform as well as cokeheads do with wallstreet?
 
2013-08-03 06:48:22 PM  
Just think of all the prison-years we could save if we just made murder legal.

Just sayin
 
2013-08-03 06:54:46 PM  
I prefer Frank Herbert's approach to laws, mentioned briefly in the Dune book series.

Having sentencing restrictions and proscriptions is anathema to the idea of justice. If a man deserves prison for life, he should get it. If a man deserves freedom, he should get it.
 
2013-08-03 06:59:17 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Aristocles: quatchi: Aristocles: So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way... will only increase the availability of crack.

Because making harsher sentences virtually eliminated the availability of crack or something?

Uh... yeah, it did. 'Member the 80s?

So no one uses crack at all ever now?


It's not like it was, man. There was an epidemic.

Coincidentally, in D.C. when the crack went away so did a lot of the murders and other violent crime.
 
2013-08-03 07:07:44 PM  

SevenizGud: Just think of all the prison-years we could save if we just made murder legal.

Just sayin


Just think of all the dumb shiat we could save if you never spoke or attempted to communicate in any way again.

Just sayin
 
2013-08-03 07:32:36 PM  

Aristocles: when the crack went away


bwahahahaaha you think it actually went away, also correlation does not equal causation
 
2013-08-03 07:37:56 PM  
Reduced prison sentences cost American's jobs!  Won't someone PLEASE think of the for-profit prison industry, and their lobbyists who write all the anti-drug laws?
 
2013-08-03 07:44:19 PM  
LordJiro:

It's almost like cocaine users tend to be wealthier and better-connected, so they don't have to resort to violence to feed their habit.

Maybe some, back in the day. My guess, purely from what I've heard, is that sniffers also go broke and wealthy people like to smoke it too. The lines blur more every day.
 
2013-08-03 08:05:04 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Aristocles: when the crack went away

bwahahahaaha you think it actually went away, also correlation does not equal causation


Sometimes a correlation exists due to causation. Do people who do crack resort to crime or does crime cause people to do crack?
 
2013-08-03 08:52:59 PM  

Mrbogey: Do people who do crack resort to crime or does crime cause people to do crack?


Or perhaps the emergence of crack and increased crime rates in certain areas were coincidental or perhaps didn't even coincide as much as the media made it sound.
 
2013-08-03 10:11:02 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Aristocles: when the crack went away

bwahahahaaha you think it actually went away, also correlation does not equal causation


When did crack "go away"?

Or is that one of those things you just can tell by the sound? Like a brass cartridge casing hitting the floor?
 
2013-08-03 10:59:03 PM  

Gyrfalcon: WhyteRaven74: Aristocles: when the crack went away

bwahahahaaha you think it actually went away, also correlation does not equal causation

When did crack "go away"?

Or is that one of those things you just can tell by the sound? Like a brass cartridge casing hitting the floor?


You post a lot of stuff that isn't germane to anything in the thread. Here it's "like a brass cartridge casing hitting the floor" elsewhere I think you said something like "oh, so you say that terrorist attacks are not attacks by terrorists."

Is this an idiosyncrasy that you have?

I know commentors have their own styles and some like to add on superfluous stuff like "//cheers!" at the end of each comment, is this like that? or are you really asking about bullet casings?

To answer your question: right about the time this guy was locked away.
 
2013-08-03 11:02:08 PM  
FTA: For most other sentenced inmates, the old 100-to-1 sentencing scheme will remain in effect

How can a 100:1 disparity in sentencing be even remotely constitutional???
 
2013-08-03 11:02:13 PM  

Aristocles: You post a lot of stuff that isn't germane to anything in the thread. Here it's "like a brass cartridge casing hitting the floor" elsewhere I think you said something like "oh, so you say that terrorist attacks are not attacks by terrorists."


No, I just know who you are. And that thread was pretty atrocious. I may not be Anonymous, but I never forget.
 
2013-08-03 11:35:17 PM  

Zeb Hesselgresser: Aristocles: Anyone whose seen crack heads knows that crack is a lot worse than cocaine. So, reducing the sentence for crack in any way (who cares what the sentences are for plain old coke?) will only increase the availability of crack.

Crack is prevalent in poorer areas, areas where African Americans and other minorities live. So they'll be hit the hardest by continued supply of poison.

Why does Obama hate black people so?
 
Dude. Quiet.  It is the same drug, the differences are merely processing and packaging.


If it is the same drug, why do people go to all the trouble and expense of transforming cocaine into crack?
 
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