Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Mandatory minimum sentences require an offender to serve a specified prison time. These sentences are usually imposed on drug offenders, repeat offenders, and those who use a weapon while committing a crime. The intent of mandatory minimum sentences is to punish offenders whose crimes are habitual or violent.
During the 1980s, the federal government mandated a sentencing differential for crack cocaine and powdered cocaine of 100:1, which means an offender found with 1 gram of crack cocaine will receive the same sentence as someone possessing 100 grams of powered cocaine.

How can you explain differential sentencing for crack cocaine and powdered cocaine? In your opinion, is a particular population that might use crack cocaine been targeted? Provide a rationale to support your answer. Considering the fact that crack is a derivative of cocaine hydrochloride, how can crack cocaine be treated as a more dangerous drug? Support your response with research and relevant examples.


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