The U.S Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether federal judges may depart from guidelines to correct disparities in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine.
Many federal judges have been ignoring guidelines that impose heavier sentences for possession of crack cocaine, Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times reports. Federal appeals courts are divided on the issue.
The justices selected an appeal by prosecutors seeking a higher sentence for Derrick Kimbrough, a veteran from Norfolk, Va. The federal sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 19 to 22 years in prison for Kimbrough’s crime, possessing and distributing more than 50 grams of crack.
A federal judge called that sentence “ridiculous” and refused to impose it.
Jun 12, 2007 3:15 PM CDT