Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
United States v. Armstrong
United States v. Armstrong was a court case involving Christopher Lee Armstrong and other defendants who had been indicted on federal drug charges after selling 124 grams of cocaine base (crack) to police over a period of several months. The defendants alleged that they had been selectively prosecuted because they were Black, in violation of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. In its ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that in order to establish selective prosecution claims, defendants must show that the government failed to prosecute similarly situated suspects of other races. The defendants, who were charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine, filed a motion for discovery or dismissal. In support of their motion, they presented anecdotal evidence alleging that the Inglewood, California, Police Department had demonstrated a pattern of discriminatory behavior against Blacks. This evidence consisted of an ...