UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT SAY TRIAL COURTS ARE NOT BOUND BY FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES; DISPARITY IN POLICY BETWEEN CRACK AND POWDER COCAINE DOES NOT BIND THE SENTENCING COURT
The cocaine sentencing guidelines are advisory only, same as the other guidelines, and the crack/powder disparity in the guidelines does not bind the trial court. Judge may consider disparity in determining sentence.
Justice Scalia concurs in the court's decision. Not shockingly, the new right-wing coalition (gang) of Thomas and Alito dissent, albeit separately and for different reasons.
This opens the doors to thousands of African Americans who were given higher sentences, since African Americans, according to the Associated Press. African Americans are the population most frequently using crack cocaine.
Kimbrough v. United States (U.S. Sup. Court 12/10/07, 06-6330) 07 C.D.O.S. 14079