Federal judge: Cocaine sentencing disparity 'unconscionable' - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Federal judge: Cocaine sentencing disparity 'unconscionable'

(Washington-AP) November 14, 2006 - A federal judge who served as a top drug policy adviser to the first President Bush says the harsher penalties he once advocated for crack cocaine crimes go too far.

Federal Judge Reggie Walton favored longer sentences for crack cocaine compared to the powder form. Now, he calls the disparity "unconscionable" and warns the tougher standards are undermining faith in the nation's judicial system.

Trafficking five grams of crack carries a mandatory five-year prison term, while it takes 500 grams of powder to warrant the same sentence.

Those who back changing the guidelines say the rules typically result in far harsher sentences for poor and minority defendants.

Posted 9:44pm by Chantelle Janelle

Powered by WorldNow