| Cataloged on:
Apr. 18, 2011
ANNOTATION: Thirteen states have sentencing disparities between cocaine involved offenses, anywhere from 2- to 75-1 ratios of powder to crack. For instance, the same sentence is given in Missouri for selling 449 grams of powder cocaine as for selling two grams of crack cocaine. The critical need to address the disproportion between sentences applied to crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses is explained. “Fiscal pressure to tighten state corrections budgets, along with mounting evidence documenting the unfair and unwarranted structure of these [wildly divergent cocaine] sentencing laws, suggests that lawmakers should reexamine the sentencing differential between crack and powder cocaine” (p. 2). Sections following an introduction include: 13 states with sentencing disparities and their crack-powder ratio; the case for crack cocaine sentencing reform; origins of state-based crack-powder sentencing disparities; racial disparity in the war on drugs heightened among crack cocaine cases; states that have enacted reform; conclusion and recommendations.