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Chuck Grassley

Crime and punishment

Crime and punishment

Norman O'Neal Brown, the lone Marylander among the 46 federal inmates to whom President Barack Obama granted clemency this week, was a drug dealer. He wasn't the sort who was sent to prison for a long term over mere possession of illegal drugs — he was convicted in 1993 as part of a loosely defined ring of criminals who brought substantial quantities of crack cocaine from Philadelphia to Maryland, and he was caught after trading some of it to an undercover federal agent for supposedly untappable, untraceable cell phones. Nor was he a first-time offender; he had been convicted a few years earlier on two counts of selling cocaine to an undercover agent. Nonetheless, it's...

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