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White House Favors Cracking the Disparity

Ian S. Thompson,
Senior Legislative Advocate,
ACLU
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April 29, 2009

What a momentous day it was here in Washington!

Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs held a hearing on the 100-to-1 crack vs. powder cocaine sentencing disparity. There were many excellent witnesses who powerfully presented the case for reform, including the former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Asa Hutchinson.

Without question, the highlight of the morning’s hearing was the testimony of Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer (PDF). Assistant Attorney General Breuer, in very direct language, laid out the administration’s position on this issue. In short, the Obama administration wants Congress to act this year to completely eliminate the crack sentencing disparity.

This is indeed excellent news and to have the backing of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is going to go a long way towards helping us finally end this injustice. However, it won’t happen without the support and dedication of people throughout the country. We are heading into the bottom of the 9th, let’s not stop now. Join the ACLU in calling for Congress to end this unjust sentencing disparity.