United States v. Burroughs
Difference between crack cocaine and powdered cocaine does not create an unfair situation
The sentencing scheme for cocaine offenses has the effect of incarcerating for lengthy periods young black men who distribute crack cocaine while white distributors of cocaine powder, the drug from which crack cocaine is derived, receive comparatively light sentences. Although this scheme might not be soft on crime, it has been soft on equality. The court's role, however, is to pass judgment on the constitutionality of the penalty provisions, not on their wisdom. Accordingly, the court finds that the 100:1 ratio between cocaine powder and crack cocaine in the cocaine sentencing scheme does not violate the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause.