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October 20, 2005


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That was the day Clinton led an army of white folk out of DC and headed West. I remember getting up at about 5:30 in the morning and driving in to the city from a friends' home in Virginia. The only white folks I saw that day (with mild exaggeration) were working and wearing armor and packing heat. I suppose, given the President's hurried evacuation, that would have been a great day for us to seize the white house.


Do you realize how few people are prosecuted by the feds for having 5 grams of crack? The feds are really only interested in dealers, and in Texas, there is no difference between crack and powder. I'm not saying that some have not been prosecuted federally for small quantities, but the number is quite small. The vast majority of people in prison are serving state, not federal sentences.


State legislatures and the state, county and municipal prosecutors and police haven't taken any cues from the feds? hmm.., three strikes and related models would suggest otherwise.

Given the appetite they've shown for asset forfeiture revenues and prison-industrial development in the boonies, it would suprise me greatly to learn that disparate sentencing guidelines haven't trickled down nearly universally across states which which have turned disparate law enforcement into big business.

I'm open to whatever data you can provide to disprove Taifa's claims...,


The crack disparity has little to do with forfeiture and three strikes. The argument about the crack disparity seems to center on the perception that crack is a "black" drug and powder is a "white" drug. Forfeiture is about taking the ill-gotten gains of Scarface the drug dealer. 3 strikes is about smacking people for failing to learn from their first two mistakes -- if you keep breaking into houses, what are we supposed to do with you -- there is no class to teach you not to do this.

I can only speak for what happens in Texas since that is where I prosecute. There are no sentencing guidlines here, just ranges of punishment. Here, cocaine is cocaine -- the only "breaks" you get are for marijuana and prescribed narcotics. (It takes a whole lot of weed and a whole lot of Vicodin to equal a small amount of cocaine or meth).

Because of budget issues, Texas prosecutors are under pressure to send FEWER people to prison because of over-crowding. I realize that we need a holistic approach to reducing crime, but when you beat down a black grandma to steal her TV, and that case comes across my desk, I am sending you to prison.


If I hadn't spent a decade with the Treasury Dept and provided infrastructure support services to a number of Fed State drug task forces, I'd almost be inclined to believe you. But, I've seen the law enforcement cultural trickle down effect first hand, and besides which, I asked for data.

Here's some data germaine to understanding the phenonmenon of disparate law enforcement.

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