Crack cocaine offenses now carry a reduced point value in the US Sentencing Guidelines, after revised sentencing guidelines just went into effect this past week, guidelines that will shorten somewhat the ridiculously long sentences for federal crack cocaine crimes and that will move us a bit closer to the goal of fairness for crack cocaine offenders vis-à-vis powder cocaine offenders. Let's hope that next week's sentencing commission meeting will lead to a decision to apply the new sentencing guidelines retroactively, so we can reduce even more of the waste of this war on drugs.
LINK to Article by Solomon Moore, November 2, 2007, New York Times: Rules Lower Prison Terms in Sentences for Crack - New York Times: "Crack cocaine offenders will receive shorter prison sentences under more lenient federal sentencing guidelines that went into effect yesterday. The United States Sentencing Commission, a government panel that recommends appropriate federal prison terms, estimated that the new guidelines would reduce the federal prison population by 3,800 in 15 years. The new guidelines will reduce the average sentence for crack cocaine possession to 8 years 10 months from 10 years 1 month. At a sentencing commission hearing in Washington on Nov. 13, members will consider whether to apply the guidelines retroactively to an estimated 19,500 crack cocaine offenders who were sentenced under the earlier, stricter guidelines."