Summary: H.R.2259 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (10/18/1995)

Disapproves the U.S. Sentencing Commission's amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines relating to: (1) equalization of crack and cocaine powder quantities for trafficking and possession offenses; and (2) money laundering and transactions in property derived from unlawful activity.

(Sec. 2) Directs the Sentencing Commission to submit to the Congress recommendations regarding changes to the statutes and Sentencing Guidelines governing sentences for unlawful manufacturing, importing, exporting, and trafficking of cocaine and like offenses. Requires the recommendations to reflect the following considerations: (1) the sentence for trafficking in crack cocaine should generally exceed that imposed for trafficking in a like quantity of powder cocaine; (2) high-level cocaine traffickers should generally receive longer sentences than low-level traffickers; (3) a defendant who knowingly traffics in powder cocaine that will be converted into crack cocaine prior to its distribution to individuals should be treated at sentencing as though the defendant had trafficked in crack cocaine; and (4) an enhanced sentence should generally be imposed on a defendant who, in the course of an offense, murders or causes serious bodily injury to an individual, uses a dangerous weapon or possesses a firearm, involves a juvenile, a pregnant woman, or an unusually vulnerable person, engages in a continuing criminal enterprise or commits other criminal offenses in order to facilitate drug trafficking activities, restrains a victim, traffics in cocaine within 500 feet of a school, obstructs justice, has a significant prior criminal record, or is an organizer or leader of drug trafficking activities involving five or more persons.

Specifies that such recommendations shall propose revision of the drug quantity ratio of crack cocaine to powder cocaine under the relevant statutes and guidelines in a manner consistent with the ratios set for other drugs.

Requires: (1) the Department of Justice (DOJ) to report to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on the charging and plea practices of Federal prosecutors with respect to money laundering; and (2) the Sentencing Commission to submit to such committees comments on the DOJ report.