Run-on sentences: Study urges coke-penalty change

A report by two experts in the study of drug addiction says that the physiological and psychological effects of the two common forms of cocaine are so similar that harsher penalties legislated by Congress for crack offenses in the mid-1980s are “excessive” and should be reduced.

The report by Dorothy Hatsukami of the University of Minnesota and Marian W. Fischman of Columbia University, psychologists who examined 20 years’ worth of medical data on the effects of powdered and crack cocaine, is expected to provide further ammunition for those who advocate bringing sentences for crack-related offenses more closely in line with the less harsh penalties imposed on those convicted of offenses involving powdered cocaine.

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Excerpted from Law Enforcement News
Jan 15, 1997. 
© 1997, LEN Inc.  [ Subscribe.]