SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals today reluctantly upheld the hefty prison term of a small-time crack dealer, saying the Fair Sentencing Act doesn’t apply retroactively.
Following other circuits that have taken up the same issue since the act was signed into law last year, the panel said it had to affirm the five-year sentence of Lyndon Baptist, a Southern California man who arranged a 14-gram crack deal between his cousin and a government informant. The sentence, Central District Judge Robert Whaley had said at the time, was an example of the crack cocaine disparity that adversely affects African-Americans and made his stomach hurt.
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