Tuesday, December 08, 2009

S.1789 - Fair Sentencing Act of 2009

S.1789 - Fair Sentencing Act of 2009; Senator Richard Durbin D-IL

Amends the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act to:
(1) increase the amount of a controlled substance or mixture containing a cocaine base (i.e., crack cocaine) required for the imposition of mandatory minimum prison terms for crack cocaine trafficking to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine;

(2) increase monetary penalties for drug trafficking and for the importation and exportation of controlled substances. Eliminates the five-year mandatory minimum prison term for first-time possession of crack cocaine. Directs the U.S. Sentencing Commission to review and amend, if appropriate, its sentencing guidelines for trafficking in a controlled substance to reflect the use of a dangerous weapon or violence in such crime and the culpability and the role of the defendant in such crime, taking into account certain aggravating and mitigating factors. Directs the Comptroller General to report on the effectiveness of drug court programs funded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs.

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