Tuesday, December 11

SCOTUS Gives Judges Ability To Be Judges

Finally! The SCOTUS has said that judges are not required to follow Federal sentencing guidelines when dealing with crack cocaine cases. For years, the penalties for crack cocaine have been more severe than powder cocaine. The 7-2 decision by SCOTUS says that judges now have more leeway in sentencing. In other words, someone caught with 5 grams of crack cocaine will no longer receive the same sentence as someone caught with 500 grams of powder cocaine.

This decision also calls into light the reason that the guidelines were the way the were. IMHO, crack cocaine is a drug found more often in inner cities or lower income areas while powder cocaine is found in the pockets of middle class suburban kids or businessman. Harsh? I don't think so. One could make a very convincing argument that crack is black, and that is why the harsh penalties were put into place.