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Monday, December 10, 2007

The Supremes Relax on Crack

posted by on December 10 at 10:10 AM

The Supreme Court ruled today that it’s OK for judges to take the disparity between sentences for crack and powder cocaine into consideration when assigining prison terms—in defiance of federal sentencing guidelines, which are much stiffer for crack.


In [another] case, the court, also by a 7-2 vote, upheld a sentence of probation for Brian Gall for his role in a conspiracy to sell 10,000 pills of ecstasy. U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt of Des Moines, Iowa, determined that Gall had voluntarily quit selling drugs several years before he was implicated, stopped drinking, graduated from college and built a successful business. The guidelines said Gall should have been sent to prison for 30 to 37 months.

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It is sad that I find myself pleasantly surprised when reason prevails in any branch of the federal government.

Posted by boxofbirds | December 10, 2007 10:28 AM

scalia & uncle thomas voted no.

of course.

Posted by max solomon | December 10, 2007 11:13 AM

No--J. Scalia joined the 7-2 majority and wrote a separate opinion concurring. J. Alito voted "no," as you say. I'd be more afraid of the political branches on this point than I would be of J. Scalia.

And if you mean to call J. Thomas an "Uncle Tom," that's fucking backwoods-style stupid.

Posted by the hamburgler | December 10, 2007 11:23 AM

yep thats me - backwoods stupid.

what about if i call him an unqualified fucking joke of an excuse for a token supreme court justice?

Posted by max solomon | December 10, 2007 12:31 PM

That's more like it, Max.

"Uncle Tom" is an illiterate backwards reference to an abolitionist novel. People should work to stamp the expression out!

Posted by Wendy | December 10, 2007 12:37 PM

well, i don't really trust your judgment because (1) you sound like you'd call anyone you disagree with a name and leave it at that; and (2) you apparently can't be bothered to read the link before you comment.

Posted by the hamburgler | December 10, 2007 1:23 PM

In reality this will only be used to get the politically or financially well-connected out of long jail terms, while 99 percent of the current sentences for the middle class and poor African-Americans who do street dealing in crack will still happen.

But ... that's reality.

This won't change things much.

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 10, 2007 1:54 PM

1. not 100% true, therefore not true.
2. i get my scalia & scalito mixed up.

Posted by max solomon | December 10, 2007 4:21 PM

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