Attorney General Janet Reno and the nation’s drug policy director have recommended closing, but not eliminating, the disparity in mandatory sentences for possession of crack cocaine vs. powder cocaine.
The recommendation was issued in a letter that Reno and Gen. Barry McCaffrey sent to President Clinton on July 3, The New York Times reported today.
The officials said federal judges should be required to impose a minimum prison term of five years for possession of 25 grams of crack or 250 grams of powder cocaine, the newspaper reported.
Federal law now requires a five-year minimum sentence for possession of 5 or more grams of crack. For powder cocaine, the threshold for a five-year sentence is 500 grams or more.
The recommendation would narrow the sentencing disparity from the current 100 to 1 down to 10 to 1.
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