#356 Crack Vs Powder Disparity

Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2007
Subject: #356 Crack Vs Powder Disparity

CRACK VS POWDER DISPARITY

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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #356 – Saturday, 29 December 2007

The past month realized a long overdue alteration in federal
sentencing guidelines pertaining to drug law offenders convicted of
possession and/or distribution of cocaine.

For two long decades, federal laws have mandated that those offenders
found with crack cocaine – should be sentenced to much more draconian
prison time than those who were convicted of involvement with the more
commonly used powder form of cocaine. Most notably, sentencing
guidelines were founded on the basis of product weight. Crack-related
sentences on par to powder sentences were triggered by weights as
small as a 1/100 ratio.

Most defense lawyers and civil rights advocates say the lopsided
perception of crack versus cocaine is rooted in racism. Four out of
every five crack defendants are black, while most powdered-cocaine
defendants are white.

MAP has been archiving news and opinion coverage on this important
story line over the past few weeks. Additionally, fresh coverage is
seeing print across the U.S. this week.

Please consider writing and sending a Letter to the Editor directed to
the newspapers closest to your hometown which have printed coverage of
this story line and to the major newspapers as the articles and
opinions are printed.

Target news clippings may be found at this MAP Bookmark:

Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/topic/Sentencing+Commission

If you elect to write to more than one newspaper, we strongly suggest
at least some modification of your message so that each newspaper
receives a unique letter. Letters of 200 words or less have the best
chance of print unless otherwise noted in MAP headers.

As a number of the clippings suggest, the disparity will not be
totally removed until congress acts. Please inform your members of
congress about your views.

Thanks for your effort and support.

It’s not what others do it’s what YOU do

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Additional suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism Center:

http://www.mapinc.org/resource/#guides

Or contact MAP’s Media Activism Facilitator for personal tips on how
to write LTEs that get printed.

heath@mapinc.org

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PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER

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letter list ( sentlte@mapinc.org ) if you are subscribed, or by
E-mailing a copy directly to heath@mapinc.org if you are not
subscribed. Your letter will then be forwarded to the list so others
can learn from your efforts.

Subscribing to the Sent LTE list ( sentlte@mapinc.org ) will help you
to review other sent LTEs and perhaps come up with new ideas or
approaches as well as keeping others aware of your important writing
efforts.

To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see

http://www.mapinc.org/lists/index.htm#form

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Prepared by: The MAP Media Activism Team http://www.mapinc.org/resource

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