Tyrone, a black man, was charged in 2005 with selling crack cocaine and powder cocaine in overwhelmingly white Mason City, Iowa.
Blacks account for 1.8% of the town’s 28,000 residents. Tyrone’s drug selling — no violence involved — was investigated entirely by local authorities.
But to get the harshest sentence possible, the locals sent Tyrone to federal prosecutors — a practice called “jurisdiction shopping” — so the local black drug dealer could feel the force of Crack + Black = Life.
A federal judge sentenced Tyrone to 29 years without parole. Federal prosecutors appealed the sentence as too light — and won.
Tyrone was re-sentenced to Crack + Black = Life.
The sentence, racist in practice and result, is entirely legal.
Federal taxpayers will spend $1.5 million housing and providing medical treatment to Tyrone until he dies.
The financial difference between Tyrone’s original 29 year sentence and his life sentence — that is, the cost of keeping Tyrone in prison during his 60s, 70s and perhaps beyond — will add about $700,000 to federal taxpayers’ tab.
Iowa taxpayers will spend $0.