Share
Explore BrainMass

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.

Solution Preview

How can you explain differential sentencing for crack cocaine and powdered cocaine?
During the 80s, crack cocaine was a new drug and more prevalently used that powdered cocaine. Any time a new drug hits the street, legislatures will do everything possible to put as harsh a penalty as possible for the user in order to persuade possible users from doing it. Also, it is cheaper to buy cocaine in crack form rather than its powder form. Therefore, more people will have access to it.

In ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines mandatory minimum sentences. The fact that crack is a derivative of cocaine hydrochloride is determined.

$2.19