S. 1685 (110th): Fairness in Drug Sentencing Act of 2007

110th Congress, 2007–2009. Text as of Jun 25, 2007 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

II

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1685

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 25, 2007

(for himself, Mr. Kennedy, Mrs. Feinstein, and Mr. Specter) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

A bill to reduce the sentencing disparity between powder and crack cocaine violations, and to provide increased emphasis on aggravating factors relating to the seriousness of the offense and the culpability of the offender.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Fairness in Drug Sentencing Act of 2007.

2.

Powder and crack cocaine sentencing disparity reduction

(a)

Controlled Substances Act

Section 401(b)(1) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841(b)(1)) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A)(iii), by striking 50 grams and inserting 250 grams; and

(2)

in subparagraph (B)(iii), by striking 5 grams and inserting 25 grams.

(b)

Controlled Substances Import and Export Act

Section 1010(b) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960(b)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)(C), by striking 50 grams and inserting 250 grams; and

(2)

in paragraph (2)(C), by striking 5 grams and inserting 25 grams.

3.

Change in penalty for possession of crack cocaine

Section 404(a) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 844(a)) is amended by striking Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, and all that follows through the mixture or substance exceeds 1 gram..

4.

Increased emphasis on certain aggravating factors related to seriousness of the offense

Pursuant to its authority under section 994 of title 28, United States Code, the United States Sentencing Commission shall review and, if appropriate, amend the sentencing guidelines to ensure that the penalties for an offense involving trafficking of a controlled substance provide tiered enhancements for the involvement of a dangerous weapon or violence, including, if appropriate—

(1)

an increase to the existing enhancement for possession of a dangerous weapon;

(2)

an enhancement for the use or brandishment of a dangerous weapon;

(3)

an enhancement for the use, or threatened use, of violence; and

(4)

any other enhancement the Commission considers necessary.

5.

Increased emphasis on certain factors related to the culpability of the offender

(a)

In general

Pursuant to its authority under section 994 of title 28, United States Code, the United States Sentencing Commission shall review and, if appropriate, amend the sentencing guidelines to ensure that the penalties for an offense involving trafficking of a controlled substance adequately take into account the culpability of the defendant and the role of the defendant in the offense.

(b)

Considerations

In carrying out this section, the United States Sentencing Commission shall consider—

(1)

whether enhancements should be added, either to the existing enhancements for aggravating role or otherwise, that take into account aggravating factors associated with the offense, including—

(A)

whether the defendant committed the offense as part of a pattern of criminal conduct engaged in as a livelihood;

(B)

whether the defendant maintained an establishment for the manufacture or distribution of the controlled substance;

(C)

whether the defendant distributed a controlled substance to an individual under the age of 18 years or a pregnant individual;

(D)

whether the defendant involved an individual under the age of 18 years or a pregnant individual in the offense;

(E)

whether the defendant manufactured or distributed the controlled substance in a location described in section 409(a) or section 419(a) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 849(a) or 860(a));

(F)

whether the defendant bribed, or attempted to bribe, a Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer in connection with the offense;

(G)

whether the defendant was involved in the importation into the United States of the controlled substance;

(H)

whether the defendant committed the offense after previously being convicted of a felony controlled substances offense; and

(I)

any other factor the Commission considers necessary; and

(2)

whether adjustments should be added, either to the existing guideline for mitigating role or otherwise, that take into account mitigating factors associated with the offense, including—

(A)

whether the defendant had minimum knowledge of the illegal enterprise;

(B)

whether the defendant received little or no compensation in connection with the offense; and

(C)

whether the defendant acted on impulse, fear, or friendship when the defendant was otherwise unlikely to commit such an offense.

6.

Emergency authority and deadline for commission action

The United States Sentencing Commission shall promulgate the guidelines, policy statements, or amendments provided for in this Act as soon as practicable, and in any event not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, in accordance with the procedure set forth in section 21(a) of the Sentencing Act of 1987 (28 U.S.C. 994 note), as though the authority under that Act had not expired.