Tag: crack powder cocaine disparity

Crack Retroactivity: Don't Look to Obama for Help

Josh Gerstein has a long piece at Politico on Obama and crime policy.

Shorter version: Don't look to Obama for help in making the crack cocaine penalty reductions retroactive to help those already serving the unfair, draconian sentences:

Asked whether Obama might grant requests to commute the sentences of those who would have gotten less punishment if they committed their crimes today, an administration official said the crack-disparity bill “reflected Congress’s judgment that the law should not be retroactive, [and] the President believes that the Fair Sentencing Act will go a long way toward ensuring that our sentencing laws are tough, consistent, and fair.”

The official also downplayed the notion Obama might offer some kind of blanket clemency for earlier crack-cocaine offenders, saying that “as a general matter, the President agrees with the Department of Justice’s long-held view that commutation is an extraordinary remedy that should only be granted in extraordinary circumstances.”

Obama has been in office 18 months and not granted a single pardon or clemency.

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AG Eric Holder: No Decision Yet on 9/11 Trial Forum or Venue

Attorney General Eric Holder testified today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said no final decision has been made on where to try the 9/11 detainees. They have not ruled out New York and a decision is weeks away.

As to closing Guantanamo, Holder said it's still on the agenda but the plan cannot move forward until Congress approves funding to purchase Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois.

Here is Holder's opening statement. He also addressed the powder-cocaine disparity and confirmation lag for nominated U.S. Attorneys: [More...]

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