Race and Criminal Justice
The effect of the War on Drugs on communities of color has been tragic: Sentencing disparities and selective enforcement of drug laws mean that there are more black people under the control of prison and corrections departments today than were ever enslaved by this country. Despite the fact that whites engage in drug offenses at a higher rate than blacks do, blacks are incarcerated for drug offenses at a rate that is 10 times greater than that of whites.
Some progress has been made: In 2010, Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA), which represents a decade-long, bipartisan effort to reduce the racial disparities caused by draconian crack cocaine sentencing laws and restore confidence in the criminal justice system—particularly in communities of color. And in 2011, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to retroactively apply the new FSA guidelines to individuals sentenced before the law was enacted. This decision will help ensure that over 12,000 people—85 percent of whom are black—will have the opportunity to have their sentences for crack cocaine offenses reviewed by a federal judge and possibly reduced.
But there is still much to be done. It’s time to end the unjust, un-American, and unsuccessful War on Drugs.
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyJune 18, 2019
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyMay 3, 2019
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyMarch 21, 2019
- Press ReleaseMarch 21, 2019
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyFebruary 26, 2019
The Supreme Court Rightly Cited the Black Codes in Ruling Against Excessive Fines, Fees, and ForfeituresBlog Post - Speak FreelyFebruary 25, 2019
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyJuly 13, 2018
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyJanuary 28, 2019
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyDecember 17, 2018
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyJuly 9, 2018
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyJuly 16, 2018
Washington Supreme Court Is First in Nation to Adopt Rule to Reduce Implicit Racial Bias in Jury SelectionPress ReleaseApril 9, 2018