Saturday, August 7, 2010

Crack Cocaine Bill Signed!

Big news of the week is the signing of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 by President Barack Obama. The Fair Sentencing Act does not eliminate the mandatory minimum for trafficking crack cocaine, however the infamous 100-to-1 sentencing ratio is now reduced to 18-to-1. Moving forward, 28 grams of crack cocaine will trigger a five-year prison sentence and 280 grams of crack will trigger a 10-year sentence. The law could affect an estimated 3,000 cases annually, reducing sentences by an average of about two years and saving an estimated $42 million over five years. The new law also increases sentences for drug offenses involving vulnerable victims, violence and other aggravating factors.

The quarter-century-old law that Congress changed with the new bill has subjected tens of thousands of blacks to long prison terms for crack cocaine convictions while giving far more lenient sentences to those, mainly whites, caught with powder.

However, the new law is not retroactive...

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