Inmates could go free early

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GETTING OUT: About 750 federal prison inmates convicted of crack cocaine charges in South Carolina could be getting out of prison earlier than expected. Defense lawyers said Wednesday that they have begun getting calls from inmates who may qualify for reduced sentences after a U.S. Sentencing Commission decision this week. The commission wanted to reduce the disparity in prison time for crack and powder cocaine offenses and voted unanimously Tuesday to make those changes retroactive.

WHAT'S NEXT: The reductions won't be automatic. Each case must first be reviewed by a judge. Nationally, nearly 10 percent of 19,500 eligible inmates could be released March 3, and about 3,800 inmates could be released in the next year, according to the commission.

In South Carolina, about 50 inmates would be eligible in the spring, and 81 other inmates within a year.

THE IMPACT: The commission's decision, along with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Monday that federal judges can impose shorter sentences for crack cocaine crimes, could also spur a change in state laws.

Several state legislators said the penalties for crack and powder cocaine crimes should be the same.

-- Associated Press

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lorettaeidson
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lorettaeidson 12/13/07 - 09:20 am
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I have a Friend that has been

I have a Friend that has been in Federal Prison for Twenty years on a Marijuana charge. Why can't he get out?

426Hemi
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426Hemi 12/13/07 - 10:36 am
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Easy solution: keep the

Easy solution: keep the prisoners where they're at, and bring both crack, and powder forms to an equal standard. Sentencing should be based on the current crack possesion penalties. Result: more white-collar (read that "white") dopers "collared." Then the good reverends won't have to shout bias.

SunDown
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SunDown 12/13/07 - 10:36 am
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Because they found 16 tons in

Because they found 16 tons in his garage?

SunDown
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SunDown 12/13/07 - 10:37 am
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LeeT... I couldn't agree

LeeT... I couldn't agree more! Loretta... I was just kidding, sorry about that. 20 years for Marijuana seems incredible considering murders are out in 7!

Gruvy Legz
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Gruvy Legz 12/13/07 - 05:00 pm
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I agree Seven, just go murder

I agree Seven, just go murder someone and you can serve WAY less time than a drug user / dealer.

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