war on drugs on black drug users

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The article addresses the increased incarceration rate of young black male due to the "war on drugs" on black drug users. As a result a large segment of the black male population is removed from employment and their community by the disability and stigma of conviction. And the divesting effect it has on the African American community. The Sentencing Commission subsequently recommends and Congress adopted a 100 to 1 ration in the Sentencing Guidelines. The sample is related to young African American males between the ages of twenty and twenty nine who are under the supervision of the criminal justice system. The result is that African American are arrested at an increased of 24% in 1980 to 39% in 1993 and in 1986 to 1990, incarceration increased twice as much in number than for whites. The flaw is that the convictions of crack cocaine receive the dame sentences as powder cocaine.

Race/Ethnicity and Sentencing Outcomes Among Drug Offenders in North Carolina.

The article takes a closer look not only the African American population, also the Hispanics that will receive more punitive sentences than Whites. The overall results are not conclusive and there is not many other examination analysis of Black versus Hispanic differences. This study focus on Black-White and Hispanic-White and Hispanics Blacks differences in punishment from January 1, 2000 and December 2000, in areas of North Carolina. This study usage of independent and independent variables, showing results that no legal of the variables that predicted the severity of race and ethnicity. The flaws of this study relies on the many variable that is used in this study and how there isn't any prior study to compare to and if there have been an increase or decrease among the different ethnic groups.

Applying Black's Theory of Law of Crack and Cocaine Dispositions.

This article attributed in art the mandatory minimum sentences and how the treat violators who are associated with crack cocaine, and how severely the punishment is, compare of someone who is white and was appended with powder cocaine, the retrieve information from city of New York. These article use samples obtain through the city of New York. This article relates that the results are a mixed support disposition of the Black's theory law. The flaw in this article is that this study was done in 2000, and the theory.

Cracking the Media Myth: Reconsidering Sentencing Severity for Cocaine Offenders by Drug Type.

This study focus on the media and how it played a sufficient part in the federal narcotics sentencing policy., The research uses a mix method focusing on concerns, and perspective, and how the media portrayal of the outcomes. This article of and examines samples through USA Today articles the media portrayals of powder and crack cocaine. The result is that the samples of article that are used do not allow for any other media outlet a comparison of those other medial source. The sample of population is a wide variety of offender that is apprehend with cocaine and crack and how crack has directly threaten society with the spike in crime rates and how passage of enacting legislative policy. This study has gaps throughout the articles but only using limited media sources of articles and there is any prior review on this topic and how media portray the average drug offender. Pressure the media to tone down their own racially biased and stereotypical projection of African American images in news reporting and entertainment.

Racial Disparities in Sentencing: Implications for the Criminal Justice System and the African American Community.

The study analyzes the consequence of discriminatory sentencing on the African American community. The intent is to review the factors that contribute to the overrepresentation of African Americans in the prison system and to analyze the way that the judicial system maintains these disparate members through practices and procedure, racial profiling, historical biases and quasi legal procedures sectioned by the mainstream process under the guise of law and order. Until there is an overhaul of the judicial system and the sensitizing of decision makers in the legal and political community, the negative impacts will continue to have adverse effect on a large number of Americans who would otherwise become productive citizens. The population of this study is among the African American community, of men and women in comparison of sentencing of white men and women in the state of Missouri. The studies suggest or have concluded that the criminal justice system's application of sentencing law and guidelines has been discriminatory against minority individuals. There are lack of recommendation in this study, need to revisit the uniform sentencing approach, adequate rehabilitation for minority inmate while they are incarceration and to facilitate their transition from prison back to their community. Give more judges more flexibility in sentencing discretion.

Race, Ethnic & Public Policy: Re-Examining the Federal Sentencing Guidelines & Reform: A Comparative Analysis


Sentencing in the United States has dramatically change, in the eighteen century, sentencing criminal defendants was left to juries, in the nineteenth century, legislature began to pass statues that would leave sentencing to the discretion of judges, tailoring sentences to the needs of defendants and society. Under those sentences statutes, judges could administer probation, fines, restitution, imprisonment, and community services or any combination of the statutes. In 1950, Congress passed legislation requiring judges to impose mandatory minimum sentence for drug offense, by 1960 these laws fail to deter drug crimes and was consider unjustly severe. During the 70's and early 80's several states' legislative branch enacted sentencing guidelines. These guidelines increased punishment for criminal offenses, but limited judge's discretion in sentencing. Congress watch and following the lead of these states and enacted the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (Pub. L. No. 98-473, 98 Stat. 1987 [1984] [codified in 18 U.S.C.A. 3551-3556 (1988 & Supp. V 1993).

The Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) established the United State Sentencing Commission (USSC) and they were directed to create a new system, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (28 U.S.C.A. 994 [1988 & Supp. V 1993]). The goal and purpose of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (FSG), is to take the focus from the offender to the offense, by avoiding unwarranted disparity among offenders with similar characteristic convicted of similar criminal conduct. The other purpose is to narrow the wide disparity in sentencing imposed by different federal courts, for similar criminal conduct by similar offenders, (U.S.S.G., 2003, Ch.1 Pt A, 3). Mandatory minimums are not the same as the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Mandatory minimum sentences remove all discretion from the sentencing judge, whereas the guidelines allow for some flexibility.

In 1986, Congress enacted the Anti Drug Abuse Act, (P.L. 99-570, and 100 Stat. 3207) to reinstate and distinguish mandatory prison sentences for drug possession. This act created distinction between offenders for simple possession of crack cocaine compare to offenders of simple possession of powder cocaine, establishing the 100 to 1 powder/crack ratio. This ratio treated every gram of crack cocaine as the equivalent of 100 grams of powder cocaine. Therefore 5 grams of crack or 500 grams of powder cocaine is a minimum of 5 year mandatory sente will cut the sentence (21 U. S. C. 841(b)(1)(B)(ii), (iii)), and for 50 grams of crack or 5,000 grams of powder cocaine will yield a minimum of a ten years mandatory sentence (841(b)(1)(A)(ii), (iii)).

The penalties for crack cocaine offenders are unjustified, because the penalties are more severe than those of powder cocaine offenders. The reviewing of literature reveals there isn't any significant evident that justified treating crack offenses more severely than powder cocaine offenses. There has been a new light shine when the sentencing guideline has reduce the ratio and sentencing for simple possession of crack cocaine compare to powder cocaine.

With the passing of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, the new U.S Sentencing Commission guidelines that will allow offender caught with crack cocaine can now face a reduce in sentencing, as the court implement the guideline for drugs. The new sentencing range for first time offenders could be 51 months to 63 months, where the old range was 63 months to 78 months for possessing 5 grams of more of crack cocaine. The new sentencing range for first time offenders could be 97 months to 121 months compare to 121 months to 151 months for possessing 50 grams of crack cocaine. (USSG 2D1.1)

Purpose Statement:

The purpose of this case study is to re-examine the racial and ethnic disparity of the drug policy in the federal sentencing guidelines between crack and powder cocaine. This study will examine the drug policy of the past twenty and the recent passage of the new drug policy of the federal sentencing guidelines. The past guideline was a great indicator of inequality of justice and sentencing, and how will the new guidelines provide equality of justice and sentencing that has long desire? There has been limited research on the impact of race and ethnic; among African American-White, African American-Hispanics, and Hispanics-White. The dramatically racial disparity in sentencing for offense involving crack cocaine compared to powder cocaine that has led many minorities being subjected to longer penalties that set forth in the sentencing guidelines. Combine with the history of racial discrimination associated with drug laws long history of racism in the United States.

Research Questions

Q1) How will the old ratio of 100 to 1 quantity of crack/powder cocaine compare between federal and state?

Q2) How will the new ration of 18 to 1 quantity of crack/powder cocaine compare between federal and state?

Q3) How will sentencing for crack and powder cocaine offenders compare between federal and state level?