Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 15,100+ case briefs...

United States v. Clary

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
34 F.3d 709 (1994)


Clary (defendant) was convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Federal law imposed minimum sentences of 10 years for possession of 50 grams of crack cocaine (i.e., cocaine base), or 5,000 grams of powder cocaine. Congress based this discrepancy on the potency, addictiveness, and low price of crack. In practice, 92.6 percent of those convicted of possession of crack were black. Approximately the same percentage of those convicted of possession of powder cocaine were white. Clary appealed these sentencing guidelines, claiming that they discriminated against black individuals. The district court agreed, finding the guidelines discriminatory based in part on “unconscious racism.” The United States government appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gibson, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 287,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 15,100 briefs, keyed to 204 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.