Mandatory minimums on crack cocaine to be shortened

Jul 29, 2010

One of the most criticized laws in America is about to get reformed. Congress passed a bill Wednesday that would reduce the disparities between mandatory minimum sentences for crack and powdered cocaine violations, a law some have considered blatantly racist and unfairly harsh punishments imposed, mainly on blacks. Even the Obama administration has called the disparity “fundamentally unfair,” and who could argue with that? The law, which was adopted in 1986, states that someone convicted of possession of 5 grams of crack must be sentenced to 5 years in prison, compared to powdered cocaine, the amount for those mandatory sentences are as 100 times as high. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that under the new law the federal prison system would save about $42 million over the next five years. So if this is a positive financially and in terms of race relations, why would anyone be against it?

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