M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘drugs

Crackheads aren’t coming to get you

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I tell MSNBC's Craig Melvin why sentences for crack will be closer to penalties for powder cocaine.

Cross-posted from msnbc.com’s Open Channel investigative blog, where it originally appeared:

No, thousands of “crackheads” aren’t going to start flooding America’s streets Tuesday.

That’s just one of several myths that have surrounded the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s vote in June to make federal sentence reductions retroactive for current prisoners convicted of crack possession or use.

What happens Tuesday is that some eligible federal prisoners who have petitioned for reduced sentences under rules Congress passed last year can begin being released. Those rules sought to address a disparity that meant crack offenders were given the same mandatory five-year minimum sentence as were offenders in possession of 100 times as much powder cocaine.

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Written by Alex

November 1, 2011 at 9:52 am