The Champion

April 2007 , Page 14 

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Sentencing Commission Should Propose Changes to Crack Cocaine Guidelines

By Carmen Hernandez

Good morning, Your Honor, and members of the Commission. I’m here representing the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. I will not attempt to be balanced. You’ll hear enough from the government and others in that regard.

It was difficult trying to respond to your questions, and it was difficult trying to determine what I would say today because I think everything’s been said. It’s been said probably best by the Commission itself in the many reports it has published in which it debunked all the supposed reasons for the 100-to-1 ratio for crack versus powder cocaine.

I think there is no scientific basis, absolutely none, to say that one form of cocaine is a hundred times worse than the other. There may be a difference, the Commission will have to decide that, but there is absolutely no evidence of any scientific value that says 100-to-1 is an appropriate measure. Having said that, I’m going to try, for a change, in the many times that I’ve appea

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