FROM Michael Nachmanoff
Crack Sentencing Reforms Take Effect Twelve thousand inmates are eligible for release from federal prisons due to reforms of sentencing laws for crack cocaine. Cocaine is illegal in all its forms but, in federal sentencing law, there's a disparity between crack and powder. The penalty for possession or distribution of crack used to be 100 times greater than for powder. Critics called the old laws unfair, especially to African-Americans. Now, the difference is just 18 to one. Congress made the change a year ago. Now the Sentencing Commission has made the change retroactive . Michael Nachmanoff is the federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.