New cocaine rules approved - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New cocaine rules approved

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –   A new federal law brings parity in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine convictions, but prosecutors say it will not mean any change for Georgia courts.

In the past, a person convicted in federal court for possession of crack cocaine got the same mandatory prison sentence as someone with 100 times the amount of powder cocaine.

Human Rights advocates argued that had a racial impact because 80% of crack offenders are black.

Prosecutors say state law has always been fair. "But the state law has never made a distinction between crack versus powder cocaine, or any form of cocaine. Or even the amount. Cocaine is cocaine. So the state law is unaffected," said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.

President Obama signed the new federal crack sentencing guidelines into law Tuesday.

 

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