June 21, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court threw a lifeline to thousands of convicted cocaine dealers who were on the edge of what the justices called a sentencing cliff. In a 5-4 ruling, the court said the Fair Sentencing Act, which relaxed mandatory prison sentences for crack cocaine dealers, covers people who were charged but not yet sentenced when the act became law in 2010. One of the few times recently when Congress has shortened rather than lengthened sentences, the act passed with bipartisan support to eliminate a stark disparity between the required sentences for powder cocaine sellers, who are often white, and those who sell crack cocaine, who are disproportionally black.
April 17, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - A Justice Department lawyer warned the Supreme Court on Tuesday there may be thousands of crack cocaine defendants sentenced to long prison terms under a law that Congress repealed two years ago as racially biased and unfair. Deputy Solicitor Gen. Michael Dreeben urged the court to tell sentencing judges to use the new law, not the discredited old one, when setting prison terms for those convicted of crack offenses but not yet sentenced when the law was passed. But by the end of an hourlong argument, it was not clear the Supreme Court would heed the request.
April 16, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — Nearly two years ago, President Obama signed into law a "fair sentencing" act to reduce the long prison terms meted out to people who were caught with small amounts of crack cocaine. But the law did not make clear whether it should apply to cases that were pending when the measure was signed. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider whether the lighter sentences apply to hundreds of cases in the pipeline when the law was signed on Aug. 3, 2010. The issue is complicated because the Justice Department and Atty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2012 |
Singer Whitney Houston appears to have suffered a heart episode before accidentally drowning in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills hotel suite, according to coroner's officials who listed cocaine use as a contributing factor. The autopsy results were released Thursday after weeks of intense speculation over how the 48-year-old pop star died. The case marks another high-profile Hollywood death connected to drug use, coming less than three years after Michael Jackson died suddenly at his Holmby Hills mansion.
February 17, 2012 |
Whitney Houston's drug history is getting lots of media folks in trouble this week. Popular Southern California radio hosts John & Ken were suspended this week for suggesting she was a crackhead. And a Fox News commentator is in hot water for referring to Houston's use of a crack pipe. Here's the thing: Although Houston publicly acknowledged having used drugs, the late singer denied ever using crack cocaine. In fact, Houston famously suggested that crack was a cheap, trashy drug that was beneath her and her spending abilities.
December 30, 2011 |
Their time together was so brief. Michelle Mitchell was at a sober-living home here, trying to halt a two decade-cycle of crack cocaine and prostitution. Her daughter Miracle, a bundle of energy in pink Velcro sneakers, tornadoed through the kitchen. A curvy woman with a dusting of freckles, Mitchell bear-hugged the 5-year-old. Studying Miracle was like peering into a mirror: same brown eyes, mahogany skin, wide smile. A teasing nature that belied a childhood full of indignities.