A Lesser Sentence for Crack Offenses

A law that was once regarded by social activists as institutionalized racism has been slashed after over twenty years. As of Tuesday, more than 12,00 current inmates are eligible to request reduced sentences for crack-cocaine offenses thanks to the Fair Sentencing Act voted by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The Act retroactively diminishes penalties sentenced under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. What does this mean? The 100-to-1 disparity between minimum sentences for crack and powder cocaine will be amended 18 to 1.

In 1986 under the Regan Administration and its infamous War on Drugs, a person convicted of crack possession got the same mandatory prison term as someone with 100 times the amount of powdered cocaine. This was based on the understanding that crack cocaine was more dangerous than powder cocaine and posed a greater threat to public safety. The law disproportionately affected African Americans who now serve as much time in prison for drug offenses as whites do for violent offenses.

Crack Cocaine

Video here


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