Arkansas Senator Among Sponsors of Bill to Change Cocaine Sentencing

JULY 26, 2006 - Posted at 3:42 p.m. CDT

WASHINGTON - Senator Mark Pryor is one of four lawmakers sponsoring a bill that would reduce mandatory prison sentences for crack cocaine and increase mandatory prison terms for powder cocaine convictions.

The four legislators are all former attorneys general.

The Democrat from Arkansas says they are trying to make the country's drug laws more consistent and fairer.  The Drug Sentencing Reform Act would change the formula for how mandatory sentences are calculated.  Current guidelines require judges to treat one gram of crack cocaine like 100 grams of powder cocaine when they sentence crack dealers.  The proposed legislation would change that ratio to 20-to-1.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)