US high court eases drug sentences

Ruling could increase pressure for overhaul of crack-cocaine sentencing practices.

    Blacks account for about 80 per cent of federal
    crack cocaine convictions [GALLO/GETTY]

    In a related ruling, the court also supported the right of judges to depart from sentencing guidelines in a case involving distribution of the drug ecstasy.
     
    The decisions come a day before the agency that sets guidelines for federal sentences is to vote on whether to make retroactive a reduction in recommended crack-cocaine penalties.
     
    There is also pressure in the US congress to revise a 1986 law mandating longer sentences for crack, which is considered more addictive than powder cocaine and a source of street violence.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.