Mandatory Minimum Rally In Advance of Hearing Tomorrow
Tomorrow morning, the ACLU will hold a rally in Washington on the unfairness of mandatory minimum sentences, and specifically, the need to repair the 100:1 crack to powder cocaine sentencing disparity.(Received by e-mail, no link yet.)
Speakers at the rally include:
- Dorothy Gaines, who was charged with conspiracy to deliver crack cocaine due to her then-boyfriend’s alleged participation in a large-scale drug operation as a driver. Ms. Gaines served 6 years of a 19½ year sentence before being granted clemency by President Clinton in 2000.
- Karen Garrison, whose sons are currently serving 15+ years in federal prison for non-violent crack cocaine offenses.
- Kemba Smith, who was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to 24.5 years on charges of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and related charges after a failed relationship, despite her lack of involvement in any drug dealing operation.
The ACLU's written testimony on the need to reform these draconian, unfair penalties is here.
Several bills to reduce the injustice are pending in Congress. I outlined them here. A hearing is scheduled on them tomorrow before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. [More...]
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