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News Link • Drug War

High court to hear arguments on crack law

 The case involves two Illinois men given lengthy prison sentences after they were convicted of selling crack cocaine, even though they were not sentenced until after the 2010 law was passed, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The law, supported by members of both parties in Congress, reduced the 100-1 disproportion between sentences for selling crack and similar quantities of powder cocaine. Congress in 1986 imposed mandatory terms of five years for selling 5 grams of crack or 500 grams of powdered cocaine, with a 10-year minimum sentence for at least 50 grams of crack and 5,000 grams of cocaine.

The old law was criticized as racist because dealing in crack cocaine tends to involve blacks to a greater degree than whites, while whites are predominantly involved in powder cocaine criminal activity.

Corey Hill got 10 years in December 2010 for selling 53 grams of crack to an informant in 2007. He would have received about 4 years under the new law. Edward Dorsey got 10 years, because of previous convictions, for selling 5.5 grams of crack in Kankakee, Ill.

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