Bernie and the crime bill

LPT 160411 Sanders-011

Look, I don’t care that politicians change their minds. I care when they pretend they never made any mistakes, and attack other people for doing so:

The story gets worse for Sanders. Over the weekend, an excerpt of remarks Congressman Sanders had inserted into the Congressional Record in 1995 started making the rounds. A debate was raging at the time about the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparities (black people were more often arrested on crack charges, for which the sentencing guidelines were much harsher). The U.S. Sentencing Commission had recommended to Congress that it eliminate the disparity (PDF). It meant that Congress should do so by lowering the guidelines for crack so that they’d be equal to those for powder. Most Democrats, of course, supported this change.

Sanders? Well, he wanted to eliminate the disparity—but by raising the powder guidelines to those for crack! Here are the salient sentences, from the Record of Oct. 18, 1995, tweeted over the weekend by James E. Carter IV, President Carter’s grandson:

“This Congressman thinks that drugs are a scourge on America, and I strongly believe we must fight cocaine use in any form. We should be addressing the fairness issue by raising the punishment for powder cocaine, not lowering the sentence for crack offenses. I am deeply disturbed that this was not given as an option today.”

2 thoughts on “Bernie and the crime bill

  1. Was there a war on drugs at that time or was there not?
    Was it easier for a politician, especially corporate politicians at that time, to vote to increase the penalties on drug (cocaine) use or reduce (crack) them?
    Bernie knew that racist white politicians weren’t going to reduce the sentences that blacks received for using crack, so he tried to increase the penalty that white’s would pay for using powder.
    Freeway Ricky Ross, Oliver North, Iran-Contra and the crack explosion in LA.

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