NBC-2 to do a Story Tonight on Sentence Reform

Well, I guess the story is on sentence reform: it’s about a man who was apparently arrested for possession of a half-an-ounce of cocaine and who was then sentenced to 60 years incarceration. The NBC teaser doesn’t give much in the way of details: what were the aggravating factors, was it a state or federal case? I expect it must have been federal charges, because state charges would not allow that great of a sentence for such a small amount. Even if it was possession with intent to sell, that wouldn’t be sufficient to warrant a 60 year sentence without other charges in Florida state court.

The teaser talks about the war on drugs, and shows a clip of President Clinton talking tough, but it also shows a clip of Governor Scott, so I don’t know if the situation deals with federal or state charges. While the state does have some severe sanctions: minimum mandatory sentences for an ounce or more of cocaine, for instance, federal laws are generally more harsh. The federal government has actually looked to recede from some of their overly-harsh, drug war-era initiatives, including the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced disproportionate sentences for cocaine offenses that involved crack cocaine. Even Florida, which has an extremely harsh sentencing structure, is considering some exceptions to its sentencing policy.

Hopefully I’ll have time to do a follow up post after the story! It’s on tonight, around 6 pm: http://youtu.be/WXCB0VlDHWE

 

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