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Osler Heralds Change in Crack Powder Sentencing Laws

Aug. 5, 2010

While at the Baylor Law School, Mark Osler fought to change federal rules that mandated the 100-to-1 discrepancy in crack vs. powder cocaine sentencing, eventually winning the case in front of the Supreme Court that resulted in Tuesday's signing by the president. As an assistant D.A. in Detroit, Osler saw firsthand the effect the law had on the streets and the legal system. He said it showed the dangers of congress legislating by anecdote.

Osler said the law put untold numbers of young people in jail, with many first-time offenders receiving sentences far stiffer than those convicted of arguably much worse crimes. You can hear about this aspect of the law and our complete conversation online at kwbu.org. After serving for years at the Baylor Law School, Osler and his family are currently headed north to Minnesota, where he will begin teaching this fall in the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis. For KWBU News, I'm Derek Smith.

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