Cracks in the System: 20 Years of the Unjust Crack Cocaine Law
Oct 3, 2006


This ACLU report published in October 2006, outlines the compelling justifications for changing the crack penalties and urges elected officials to implement the following recommendations:

• The quantities of crack cocaine that trigger federal prosecution and sentencing must be equalized with and increased to the current levels of powder cocaine.

• Federal prosecutions must be properly focused on the high-level traffickers of both crack and powder cocaine.

• In order for judges to exercise appropriate discretion and consider mitigating factors in sentencing, mandatory minimums for crack and powder offenses must be eliminated, including the mandatory minimum for simple possession.

• To the extent that the states have similar disparities in their laws, the states should also equalize differences in the drug quantity ratios between powder and crack cocaine at levels that properly focus on major drug dealers and not low-level participants.

Read report


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