Yesterday's arguments in front of the Supreme Court in the Hill and Dorsey cases have generated media attacks on the lingering injustices of 2010's crack sentencing reforms. Take your pick from this selection of good ones:
The Washington Post: Unjust crack penalties continue to plague defendants: "If the justices conclude that the law demands Mr. Dorsey and others like him must be sentenced under the old regime, Congress should step in quickly to correct the problem."
Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she found it a difficult decision. As a trial judge, she said, she had followed the rule that new laws are not applied to old crimes. However, the crack cocaine law was discriminatory and had to go, she said.
"I've been a judge for nearly 20 years, and I don't know that there's one law that has created more controversy or more discussion about its racial impact than this one," Sotomayor said.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said he too did not like the idea of requiring judges to sentence defendants to unfairly long terms. "The hardest thing, as we know in the judicial system, is sentencing," Kennedy said. If a judge is forced to use a repealed and discredited law, "that's a very difficult position to put the judge in," he said.