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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 22, 2010 / 7 Nissan 5770

Crack Versus Powder Cocaine Should Not Be Black and White

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last week by voice vote, the Senate unanimously approved a measure to reduce the infamous 100-1 disparity in federal mandatory minimum prison sentences for possession of crack versus powder cocaine. The new, improved disparity would be 18-1.

If the Fair Sentencing Act of 2009, authored by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., becomes law, there will be a five-year mandatory minimum prison term for 28 grams of crack cocaine — instead of 5 grams today — while the amount of powder cocaine that triggers five years would remain 500 grams.

There is no logical reason for the sentence disparity. Whether in crack or powder form, it's still cocaine. But about 4 in 5 federal crack offenders are black. Last year, Asa Hutchinson, who was head of the Drug Enforcement Administration under President George W. Bush, righteously testified that the "disparate racial impact" of the cocaine-powder disparity undermines "the integrity of our judicial system."

Some people no doubt consider the crack law to be tough on drug kingpins, but it's not. According to the Department of Justice in 2005, 55 percent of federal crack offenders were street-level dealers. Excessive sentences have had the unintended consequence of encouraging the federal prosecution of low-level offenders who in saner times would be handled by local authorities.

While the House Judiciary Committee passed a measure last year to completely eliminate the crack/powder disparity, the Durbin bill represents an amazing victory. According to Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, if the measure passes, it will be the first time since 1970 that Congress will have voted to eliminate a mandatory minimum penalty.

This controversy should serve as an example as to what happens after Congress passes a bad bill. The disparity was embedded in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act in 1986 in a Beltway anti-drug frenzy. Over time, its ill effects have become evident. In 1995, the U.S. Sentencing Commission recommended that Congress rewrite the law to equalize the sentences. Nothing changed.

Families Against Mandatory Minimums began fighting the bill 15 years ago. Stewart has seen seven Congresses, 10 congressional hearings, three Sentencing Commission reports and 75,000 defendants sentenced. Lawmakers from both parties have recognized the fundamental unfairness of the law. Yet it has taken decades to win a floor vote to address the disparity, and then only part way.

Letter from JWR publisher


Some supporters of the House bill bristle at the notion of passing a measure that continues the disparity. As Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., told Congressional Quarterly, "How do you correct something to make it a little less unjust?"

The answer is: You go for some justice instead of no justice. It has taken 24 years to get the Senate to move this far. Stewart questions whether the bill that passed the House Judiciary Committee could even survive a House floor vote as is — whereas the Senate bill stands a good chance of passing the House, in part because it enjoyed full bipartisan support.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has been involved in efforts to reduce the disparity since 2001. According to The Washington Post, Durbin encountered Sessions and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in the Senate gym before their workouts on a recent Thursday morning. Durbin used the moment to push for a deal, which was sealed with a handshake two hours later.

Having Sessions, a former federal prosecutor, on board, should make the bill an easy sell with House members of both parties. President Obama renounced the crack-powder disparity as a candidate for the White House, but I would imagine he would be happy to sign a bill with Republican support.

I understand that many Americans have little sympathy for crack offenders. Hence the cartoonish sentencing system that pops out sledgehammer prison terms even for nonviolent and first-time offenders. What once were high-end sentences have become the floor. Maybe sentences of five years or 10 years (the sentence for 50 grams or up to 250 doses of crack) do not seem like harsh punishment to some voters, but such sentences are long and should be reserved for serious or repeat offenders.

Federal judges have been forced to mete out draconian time for crimes that should be punished, but do not merit more time than it takes to earn a college degree. No American parent would want such rough justice for his own child, and no American should accept it for other people's children.

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© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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