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H.R.3245 Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009, 111th Congress

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Official Bill Info

  • Latest Action: Dec 01, 2010 Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 400.

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  • Committee Assignment: House Committee on the Judiciary

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  • Committee Assignment: House Committee on Energy and Commerce

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  • Committee Assignment: House Committee on the Judiciary - Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations

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  • Committee Assignment: House Committee on Energy and Commerce - Health

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  • Committee Assignment: House Committee on Energy and Commerce - Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade

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Bill Statistics on OpenCongress

  • 78% of users support H.R.3245

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    78% of users on OpenCongress.org, a free, non-partisan resource, support H.R.3245.
  • H.R.3245 has been viewed 25,452 times

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    H.R.3245 has been viewed 25,452 times on OpenCongress.org, a free, non-partisan resource.
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    OpenCongress Bill Summary

    • This bill seeks to eliminate increased and mandatory minimum penalties for drug offenses involving substances containing cocaine base. The intent is to promote fairness in subsequent sentences by not making crack cocaine more punishable than powder, for example. This is one of many pieces of legislation proposed this congressional session attempting to amend the sentences of crimes related to crack cocaine. These other bills are H.R. 18, H.R.1459, H.R.2178.

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      Here's a summary from OpenCongress.org: This bill seeks to eliminate increased and mandatory minimum penalties for drug offenses involving substances containing cocaine base. The intent is to promote fairness in subsequent sentences by not making crack cocaine more punishable than powder, for example. This is one of many pieces of legislation proposed this congressional session attempting to amend the sentences of crimes related to crack cocaine. These other bills are H.R. 18, H.R.1459, H.R.2178.

    Supporting Organizations

    • Families Against Mandatory Minimums

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    • Oregonians Against Measure 11

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    • Drug Policy Alliance Network

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    • American Bar Association

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    • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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    • Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

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    • The Sentencing Project

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    • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

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    • Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

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    • Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School

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    • American Federation of Government Employees

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    • Fortune Society

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    • Brennan Center for Justice

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    • General Commission on Religion and Race, the United Methodist Church

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    • Center for Community Alternatives

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    • General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church

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    • Center for Law and Social Justice

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    • Institute of the Black World 21st Century

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    • Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions

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    • International Community Corrections Association

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    • National African American Drug Policy Coalition

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    Most-commented sections of the bill text

    Highest Rated User Comments

    • On November 14, 2009, by EuropeanAmerican - Actually, if you educate yourself on the issue you would know that Crack has been scientifically proven time and time again to be no more addictive than powder cocaine. Furthermore, cocaine is less addictive than nicotine and alcohol, yet we aren't throwing cigarette smokers in prison, let alone for 10 years to life. This is insane. And your next argument is probably going to be how "dangerous" it is. Well no cocaine is actually a considerable mild drug, and illicit drugs pale in comparison to the dangers of pharma and OTC drugs; Tylenol being the number 1 killer. Ironically the most dangerous drugs are the ones being legally pushed and marketed as "safe" "medicine". Most illicit drug overdoses could be prevented with proper social programs available to educate the public on safe usages. Also, people wouldn't be afraid to call 911 for an individual in need of help if they weren't afraid of going to prison. A little bit of education and common sense law goes a long way.

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      As noted by EuropeanAmerican, a user on OpenCongress.org, on November 14, 2009, "Actually, if you educate yourself on the issue you would know that Crack has been scientifically proven time and time again to be no more addictive than powder cocaine. Furthermore, cocaine is less addictive than nicotine and alcohol, yet we aren't throwing cigarette smokers in prison, let alone for 10 years to life. This is insane. And your next argument is probably going to be how "dangerous" it is. Well no cocaine is actually a considerable mild drug, and illicit drugs pale in comparison to the dangers of pharma and OTC drugs; Tylenol being the number 1 killer. Ironically the most dangerous drugs are the ones being legally pushed and marketed as "safe" "medicine". Most illicit drug overdoses could be prevented with proper social programs available to educate the public on safe usages. Also, people wouldn't be afraid to call 911 for an individual in need of help if they weren't afraid of going to prison. A little bit of education and common sense law goes a long way."
    • On November 14, 2009, by EuropeanAmerican - There's no logical reason to increase any prison terms and in fact all of the evidence points in the opposite direction. Actually by criminalizing drugs we not only hinder much needed education and social programs to help those with severe addictions (which is supposed to be the purpose of the law), but we also increase violent crimes, drug cost and demand, and waste billions of tax dollars on a completely, undisputed, FAILED drug war. In the 1970's when the drug war began, 1.3% of the population was addicted to drugs. Today, the exact same percentage of the population is addicted to drugs, 1.3%. What exactly have we solved aside from spending trillions of tax dollars and destroying millions of lives? See leap.cc Law Enforcement Against Prohibition to get educated by law enforcement advocating, educating and pleading for an end to the ridiculous prohibition laws.

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      As noted by EuropeanAmerican, a user on OpenCongress.org, on November 14, 2009, " There's no logical reason to increase any prison terms and in fact all of the evidence points in the opposite direction. Actually by criminalizing drugs we not only hinder much needed education and social programs to help those with severe addictions (which is supposed to be the purpose of the law), but we also increase violent crimes, drug cost and demand, and waste billions of tax dollars on a completely, undisputed, FAILED drug war. In the 1970's when the drug war began, 1.3% of the population was addicted to drugs. Today, the exact same percentage of the population is addicted to drugs, 1.3%. What exactly have we solved aside from spending trillions of tax dollars and destroying millions of lives? See leap.cc Law Enforcement Against Prohibition to get educated by law enforcement advocating, educating and pleading for an end to the ridiculous prohibition laws. "
    • On October 09, 2009, by 4change - It is a proven fact that 86% of individuals sentenced under this law are African American. As President obama pointed out " the only difference between crack cocaine and powder cocaine is the color of one's skin!". Also this law takes ALL discretion from the judges in sentencing. It ties the judge hand on what sentence the judge feels is fair due to the circumstances. Say first time offender, no record etc... the judge is UNABLE to take into account anything about each different case when sentencing. Why have a judge if he cannot do what he feels is just under the law as each case is different? Explain the rational in that please? Sonnys123

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      As noted by 4change, a user on OpenCongress.org, on October 09, 2009, "It is a proven fact that 86% of individuals sentenced under this law are African American. As President obama pointed out " the only difference between crack cocaine and powder cocaine is the color of one's skin!". Also this law takes ALL discretion from the judges in sentencing. It ties the judge hand on what sentence the judge feels is fair due to the circumstances. Say first time offender, no record etc... the judge is UNABLE to take into account anything about each different case when sentencing. Why have a judge if he cannot do what he feels is just under the law as each case is different? Explain the rational in that please? Sonnys123"

    Highly Rated Blog Articles

    • Are Effective Ways To Complain To Sponsors Of A Tv Program? - December 28, 2010 by Creatazt - HR3245: Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009 - US ... Crack Lung | LIVESTRONG.COM; Cocaine User Helping Hand :: Help for cocaine, crack cocaine ... Bill on cocaine vs. crack sentencing passes House panel . ...

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      As noted by Creatazt on December 28, 2010, "HR3245: Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009 - US ... Crack Lung | LIVESTRONG.COM; Cocaine User Helping Hand :: Help for cocaine, crack cocaine ... Bill on cocaine vs. crack sentencing passes House panel . ..." (http://creatazt.chaucer-house.com/effective-ways-to-complain-to-sponsors-of-a-tv-program/)
    • Criminal Lawyers Raleigh Nc | Lawyers R - December 10, 2010 by Lawyers R - The Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009 (H.R. 3245) passed committee vote at the end of July, but then was pushed to the back burner as the health care reform debate heated up. Current Sentencing Laws Based on Misconceptions ...

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      As noted by Lawyers R on December 10, 2010, "The Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009 (H.R. 3245) passed committee vote at the end of July, but then was pushed to the back burner as the health care reform debate heated up. Current Sentencing Laws Based on Misconceptions ..." (http://www.lawyersr.com/criminal-lawyers-raleigh-nc/)
    • S.3992: DREAM Act of 2010 - U.S. Congress - OpenCongress - November 29, 2010 by Open Congress : Sen. Richard Durbin [D, IL] - Supporting Bill, Supporting Senator, Supporting Representative. S.3827 Development, Relief, ... 5 · S.729 Development, Relief, ... 4 · H.R.3245 Fairness in Cocaine S... 3 · H.R.3221 Student Aid and Fisca. ...

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      As noted by Open Congress : Sen. Richard Durbin [D, IL] on November 29, 2010, "Supporting Bill, Supporting Senator, Supporting Representative. S.3827 Development, Relief, ... 5 · S.729 Development, Relief, ... 4 · H.R.3245 Fairness in Cocaine S... 3 · H.R.3221 Student Aid and Fisca. ..." (http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s3992/show)

    Highly Rated News Articles

    • Grandmother Will Mark President's Day By Petitioning Obama To Commute Her 27-Year Prison Sentence For Non-Violent Crime - February 14, 2010 by YubaNet - ...said Michelman. Legislation is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act, H.R.3245, introduced by Representative Robert Scott (D-VA), and the Fair Sentencing Act of 2009, S. 1789, introduced by Senat

      Clicking this will add the following text:

      As noted by YubaNet on February 14, 2010, "...said Michelman. Legislation is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act, H.R.3245, introduced by Representative Robert Scott (D-VA), and the Fair Sentencing Act of 2009, S. 1789, introduced by Senat" (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Yubanet/~3/citRdzs0mJQ/Grandmother-Will-Mark-President-s-Day-By-Petitioning-Obama-To-Commute-Her-27-Year-Prison-Sentence-For-Non-Violent-Crime.php)
    • Grandmother Will Mark President's Day By Petitioning Obama To Commute Her 27-Year Prison Sentence For Non-Violent Crime - February 10, 2010 by American Civil Liberties Union - ...said Michelman. Legislation is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act, H.R.3245, introduced by Representative Robert Scott (D-VA), and the Fair Sentencing Act of 2009, S. 1789, introduced by Sena

      Clicking this will add the following text:

      As noted by American Civil Liberties Union on February 10, 2010, "...said Michelman. Legislation is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act, H.R.3245, introduced by Representative Robert Scott (D-VA), and the Fair Sentencing Act of 2009, S. 1789, introduced by Sena" (http://www.aclu.org/drug-law-reform/grandmother-will-mark-presidents-day-petitioning-obama-commute-her-27-year-prison-se)
    • - July 23, 2009 by Drug War Chronicle - On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security passed HR 3245, the Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009. ...

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      As noted by Drug War Chronicle on July 23, 2009, "On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security passed HR 3245, the Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009. ..." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/24/AR2009072401476.html?hpid=sec-nation)
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