Blog of Rights

The Final Push – Imminent House Vote to Reform Broken Crack Sentencing Law

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:13pm

Advocates who have been working for years to reform one of the most dysfunctional aspects of our criminal justice system – the infamous and discriminatory 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and the powder form of the drug – have finally arrived at the critical final stage. The House will vote this week on a measure known as the Fair Sentencing Act (S. 1789), which passed the Senate unanimously earlier this spring. If the House succeeds in passing the legislation, it will be sent to President Obama for a final signature and become the law of the land.

While stopping short of fully eliminating the disparity – the ACLU’s preferred course – the legislation will bring much needed reform, indeed justice, to a federal law that has been particularly devastating to African-Americans and a source of this country’s massive rates of incarceration.

Please join with the ACLU in urging all members of the House of Representatives to stand on the side of justice and basic fairness and vote “YES” on the Fair Sentencing Act, S. 1789.

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