Cocaine drug sentencing

08/03/2012

 

 

DRUG SENTENCING VARIES DEPENDING ON TYPE OF COCAINE USED

 

The U.S. Supreme Court says criminals who were arrested but not yet sentenced for crack cocaine offenses should be able to take advantage of newly reduced sentences.
 

Two defendants were arrested in 2007 and 2008 for selling crack cocaine and faced mandatory 10-year sentences in Federal court. But they weren't sentenced until after the Fair Sentencing Act went into effect in August 2010. That law reduces the difference between sentences for crimes committed by crack cocaine and powder cocaine users.
 

Justice Stephen Breyer said in a 5-4 decision Thursday that the courts should have used the new law to sentence the two men.
 

Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.
 
Attorney at Law