The Death Of Basketball Player Len Bias Essay examples

1417 Words Dec 7th, 2014 6 Pages
Background Policies that target a specific racial group have been an issue that has been among us for a very long time. An example of this would be the high incarceration rates connected to cocaine sentences. This situation can be connected to the sentences that treat crack violations more harshly than those associated with powder cocaine. It is important to examine in the histories of this hostile guidelines in order to understand how they invited so much criticism, why they were so controversial, why they were so resistant to change, and how nonetheless occurred. The Federal Sentencing guidelines adopted in the United States in 1986 have been the subject of a variety of criticisms over the past twenty five years. The shocking death of basketball player Len Bias brought a lot of attention to crack cocaine as it was initially thought to be the cause of his death. However, it was later on discovered that Bias had used powder cocaine prior to his death but that detail had never been published (Chappell & Maggard, 2007). Crack cocaine developed an immediate reputation as a problem among the poor and racial minorities. On the other hand, powder cocaine has a long history in the United States. During the 1800’s and early 1900’s, it was available and legal and commonly used in tonics and other medications. (Smith, 1986) Following this, cocaine became identified a toxic, addictive, and harmful. Consequently, the 1970’s and 1980’s saw a dramatic increase in powder cocaine used by…

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