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May 19, 2008

The latest Civil Discourse comic goes after the absurd 100-to-1 disparity in sentencing laws for crack cocaine. It goes like this: Trafficking crack cocaine (cheap and used primarily by the poor) can get you the same prison sentence as dealing 100 times the amount of powder cocaine (much more expensive).

There probably isn’t a better example of the inequality in our criminal justice system and overzealous “War on Drugs.”

What if all drug crimes were treated this way? You would have to deal 100 times the amount of high-potency marijuana that looks like a High Times centerfold to get the same sentence as the person caught with the brown dirtweed they grew in under their bed.

Perhaps we could expand this kind of sentencing disparity to ALL crimes to streamline the system. We could call it “VIP Justice” and have more lenient sentences for laws broken by wealthy people. Instead of “Three Strikes You’re Out” they would face “Three Strikes No Big Deal – You’ll Have Another Chance At Bat Next Inning” laws.

Or we could fix the 100-to-1 crack sentencing laws. Either way.

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