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Cracks in the System: Twenty Years of the Unjust Federal Crack Cocaine Law(2006): In the 20 years following passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 2006, many of the myths surrounding crack cocaine were dispelled, making it clear that there was no scientific or penological justification for the 100:1 sentencing ratio.


Observations and resultsOnce you and your friend both understand how to use a Caesar cipher it should be relatively easy to send encrypted communications to each other. This can be a fun way to pass secret messages back and forth between friends. As discussed above, however, although the Caesar cipher provides a great introduction to cryptography, in the computer age it is no longer a secure way to send encrypted communications electronically.


The hate crime legislation enacted in 2009 directed the U.S. Sentencing Commission to submit a second report on federal mandatory minimums.28 The commission presented its second report in October 2011.29 A number of things had changed between the first and second Commission reports. Sentencing under the Guidelines had been in place for only a relatively short period of time when the first report was written. By the time of the second report, the number of defendants sentenced by federal courts had grown to almost three times the number sentenced under the Guidelines when the commission wrote its first report.30 The judicial landscape has changed as well. When the commission issued its first report, the Guidelines were considered binding upon sentencing judges.31 After the Supreme Court's Booker decision and its progeny, the Guidelines became but the first step in the sentencing process.32 In addition, the Fair Sentencing Act, passed in 2010, reduced the powder cocaine-crack cocaine ratio from 100 to 10 to roughly 18 to 1.33


The eight substances are heroin, powder cocaine, cocaine base (crack), PCP, LSD, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and marijuana. Criminal penalties related to each substance provide one set of mandatory minimums for trafficking in a very substantial amount listed in Section 841(b)(1)(A), and a second, lower set of mandatory minimums for trafficking in a lower but still substantial amount listed in Section 841(a)(1)(B). The first set (841(b)(1)(A) level) features the following thresholds:


At one time, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine (cocaine base) was punished 100 times more severely than possession with intent to distribute cocaine in powdered form.294 Defendants claimed the distinction had a racially disparate impact. The claim was almost universally rejected.295


P.L. 111-220, 2(a), 124 Stat. 2372 (2010). Prior to enactment, 5000 grams of powder cocaine or 50 grams of crack cocaine triggered the Controlled Substances Act's 10-year mandatory minimum, 21 U.S.C. 841(b)(1)(A)(ii) and (iii) (2006 ed.), and 500 grams of powder or 5 grams of crack triggered its 5-year mandatory minimum. Id. 841(b)(1)(B)(ii) and (iii) (2006 ed.). The FSA established a 5000 grams to 280 gram ratio for the 10-year mandatory minimum, 21 U.S.C. 841(b)(1)(A)(ii) and (iii), and a 500 grams to 28 gram ratio for the 5-year mandatory minimum. Id. 841(b)(1)(B)(ii) and (iii).


18 U.S.C. 3553(f)(2). United States v. Sandoval-Sianuqui, 632 F.3d 438, 443 (8th Cir. 2011) (the disqualifying violence or threat of violence extends to efforts to avoid detection or conviction). But see United States v. Carillo-Ayala, 713 F.3d 82, 91 (11th Cir. 2013) ("At least one of our sister circuits appears to hold that imposition of the enhancement under [U.S.S.G] 2D1.1(b)(1) [(enhancement under the drug conviction guideline for possession of a dangerous weapon without explicitly requiring that it be possessed in connection with the offense)] necessarily precludes safety valve relief ... See United States v. Ruiz, 621 F.3d 390, 397 (5th Cir. 2010).... We hold that not all defendants who receive the enhancement under 2D1.1(b)(1) are precluded from relief under subsection (a)(2)




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