Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Fair Sentencing Act today. This law reduced the disparity between mandatory minimums for crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Previously, it took 100 times as much powder cocaine as crack to hit the same mandatory minimum sentence. That ratio has now dropped to 18:1. Why is that disparity important? The vast majority of crack cocaine users are black, while the vast majority of powder cocaine users are white. The mandatory minimums amounted to lawful sentencing discrimination against blacks. It's heartening to hear how bipartisan the support for this bill was. In the midst of all the bad news emanating from DC, news like this gives hope.