August, 2006

It's been over 11 years now that (4) four expert witnesses, including the U.S. government's own witness, all testified that cocaine and cocaine base (so-called crack) all synonymous terms describing the same substance. This testimony was taken on May 1st through June 1st, 1994 in the case of United States vs. Ricky Davis and Jerry Jones. (please see 864 F. Supp. 1303 (N.D. Ga. 1994).

Testimony was taken from the following:

1. Dr. Warren J. Woodford, Ph.D. in chemistry, post-doctoral in medical chemistry, author of numerous scientific articles, various types of cocaine, forensic chemistry testimony in more than 200 cases. Dr. Woodford was called as a defense witness. 

2. Dr. Clinton D. Kitlta, Ph. D., in pharmacology. Former head of clinical psychopharmacology lab at Duke University. Dr. Kiltz is now associated professor Dept. of psychiatry, Emory University, emphasis of the pharmacological effects of various forms of cocaine. Dr. Kiltz was called as the court's expert witness.

3. Dr. John Holbrook, Ph. D. in pharmacology, a teacher for 20 years of various courses on pharmacology. Substance abuse, on the behaviorial effects of cocaine. Dr. Holbrook was called as the courts experts witness also. 

4. Mr. Joey Douglas Clarke, a master's degree in chemistry and works for the DEA (chemist) Mr. Clarke has no research or publication on cocaine. Mr. Clarke was called as the government's witness.

If there is 251 pages of testimony with regards to cocaine and cocaine base (so-called crack) and that all forms of cocaine are synonymous terms describing the same substance, then why are so many African Americans being subjected to this vile and irrational criminal statute?

In 1986, when Congress passed the harsh penalties for so-called crack cocaine, they were hearing all the deaths associated with so-called crack cocaine.
The New York Times first mentioned crack in a story on November 17th, 1985, less than a year before the 1986 Act passed. Media coverage intensified, and became like nothing ever seen before.
In the months leading up to the 1986 elections, more than 1000 stories appeared on crack cocaine in the national press, including five cover stories in the Times and Newsweek. NBC ran 300 separate reports on crack cocaine (15 hours of air time). Times called it the "Issue of the Year." September 22, 1986. Newsweek called crack the biggest news story since Vietnam and Watergate. (June 16, 1986).
The cocaine base (crack) laws were hastily drafted and approved in an unusually frenzied Congressional environment.
Media coverage peaked when basketball star Len Bias died, supposedly from smoking crack, shortly after being drafted by the Boston Celtics as the number two overall. This initiated prompt Congressional action under then Speaker of the House Tip O'Neal of Massachusetts. It wasn't until later it was verified that Bias died not from smoking crack, but rather from snorting powder cocaine.
It should also be noted that then house speaker O'Neal's district just happened to be Boston. Mr. Len Bias was to be to Boston what Michael Jordan was to the Chicago Bulls, Boston's savior. He was to bring Boston back to the championship years of Russell. O'Neal was raging mad that the savior had died from smoking crack, so the news media had reported. He knew that Boston would never see another title. Almost 20 years have come and gone, and Boston still has no title. And the crack cocaine laws are still on the books. 5 grams of crack will get you 5 years in federal prison, but 500 grams of powder cocaine will get you the same 5 years. Is something wrong with this number?

Now back to our expert witness:
Dr. Woodford testified at the Davis hearing in pertinent part...
"Crack cocaine came into being in the '80s... it lasted a while and went away. It occurred because of a change in the processing labs. The United States started bombing Bolivia and knocking out the finishing labs. It is very clear to see what happen without the finishing labs. What came to the United States was something with about 14 different alkaloids, one of which was Tropacocaine, which is very toxic to the heart. The other different alkaloids had a very dangerous and very traumatic effect on the human body. This crack was a very strong substance that you couldn't cut with nothing, most of all baking soda. The real crack was a crystallized substance, almost like plate glass. It was dark brown in color. You literally had to take a hammer and crack the plate like glass material into hundreds of little pieces. This gave birth to the (street) name crack. If this real crack cocaine could not be cut or adulterated then the strength could not be diminished."

Let's stop and remind ourselves if the United States Government knows all this very public information then why is this long gone real crack cocaine still in our law books? Why are young African Americans receiving as much as a life sentence for a substance that doesn't even exist in the scientific community, nor the streets of the United States?

One of the lawyers in the Davis case questions :
Q: Let me give you a copy of 28-841 beginning section 2 here. Now, looking at the statute, is there any difference in the substance describe in section II 1, 2, and 3 and the substance as cocaine base?
A: No.
Q: Why is that?
A: Cocaine--well, cocaine base is cocaine. Cocaine base comes from coca leaves. It is a chemical formula of C17 H21 NO4. It comes from coca leaves.

Now, Dr. Klitz's examination by the court:
Q: Does the scientific community today have a consensus about what is meant by crack?
A: It would say probably not.
Q: Did it in the early--I mean in the middle '80s have a consensus about what crack is?
A: Yes, I believe we're talking about fairly impure mixture of a number of alkaloids of which cocaine was one of them.

Dr. Holbrook, cross-examination by the defense:
Q: Are the terms cocaine and cocaine base synonymous?
A: Yes.
Q: Are the terms cocaine base and cocaine freebase synonymous?
A: As far as I know, yes.

Joey Clark, government witness (DEA chemist) cross examination:
Q: ..."you agree, sir, that the term cocaine and cocaine base are used interchangeably?"
A: They can be.
Q: And as a word of art in chemistry are they used interchangeably?
A: Yes.
Q: So that when you use one term, you can use either term and mean exactly the same thing?
A: Correct.

Scientifically, all forms of cocaine are cocaine, be it rock, so-called crack, cocaine base, free base. They are all terms for the same substance.
Our U.S. Congress walked into hastily slinging together a statute without looking in both directions before crossing the street.
The scientific community was not allowed to offer or give testimony regarding the crack issues they held in 1986. 
If you make a mistake, say so, then you correct your mistake. 92 percent of the federal so-called crack defendants are African Americans, only 3 percent are white.

The states along with the United States government has conspired to prosecute federally all African Americans who are arrested for so-called crack cocaine. In 17 states and a number of other cities--including Boston, Denver, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, and Los Angeles--not one white has been federally prosecuted for so-called crack since the law became law in 1986. Evidence has shown that whites sell and use more of this drug than African Americans. For Congress to allow the U.S. government agents to step inside a sovereign state and exericse its absolute power over an individual and charge the individual with a federal crime after the state has filed its own charge first, is a pattern of prosecution bordering on another form of genocide. 

Selective prosecution. Ask a U.S. Assistant Attorney why are only African Americans being prosecuted federally. Ask a county prosecutor why he turns over most of his so-called crack cocaine defendants to federal authorities if they are African-Americans. Ask them both, why they don't charge whites federally? It's racism; it's as racist as slavery was. This is nation problem, this pick and choose the federal cases for prosecution. 

Stanley Huff
FPC Atwater 
P.O. Box 019001
Atwater, CA 95301

You can order Stan's book "Obstacles" about a young African-American teenager sent to the Napa Boys' Home athttp://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?catalogid=13351