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May 01, 2009

The DOJ calls for restoring justice to cocaine sentencing

This week, the U.S. Department of Justice urged Congress to change one of the most troublesome aspects of U.S. drug policy, finally acknowledging the staggering injustice of locking up offenders caught with a few rocks of cocaine for far longer than offenders caught with the same amount of cocaine powder.

Restorative justice requires the harm of the offense to determine punishment. Laws that make prison sentences for crack cocaine 100 times more punitive than sentences for cocaine powder base punishment on scientific myth and paranoia. Sadly, racial minorities in America have borne the brunt of this tragic mistake. The Justice Department's calls for reform are worthy of celebration. 

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Comments

Andy

I'm glad to see that there is some change we can all agree on. Let's hope that it sails through. (If the GOP ever wants any African American votes ever again, they'll let it.)

Jason Taylor

Given that the possesor of raw coccaine is likly to be a retailer and the possesor of crack likly to be a mere user it does seem a bit of an anomaly. Things like that appear in the law from time to time.

A less grievious but more amusing glitch I have read of is that there are still cities in the West with laws about where you can hitch your horse.

I have long been of the opinion that laws should have a sunset clause and that there should be a periodic review for the purpose of repealing laws that turn out to be deadweight on society.

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