Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Disparity in Cocaine Sentences May Soon End
President Obama recently voiced his desire to change federal law concerning the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine crimes. Under current federal law, it takes five-hundred grams of powder cocaine to receive a five-year mandatory minimum sentence. On the contrary, it only takes five grams of crack cocaine to receive that same sentence. Interestingly enough, 9/10 of crack cocaine arrests are of African Americans, while 3/4 of powder cocaine arrests are of white people. Changes in sentences will hopefully end this example of institutionalized racism in the criminal justice system.