After two great victories at the end of
2007, momentum is definitely on the side of those working to reform our
country's outrageous sentencing disparity for crack vs. powder cocaine.
First, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Kimbrough v. U.S., that judges
can sentence people below the sentencing guidelines for crack offenses.
Immediately following this victory, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted
unanimously to allow prisoners serving sentences for crack offenses to
seek reductions under guidelines that went into effect in November.
Even with all of these exciting developments,
it is important to remember that these changes represent only
incremental progress in the efforts to reform the federal crack cocaine
law. The Sentencing Commission's guideline changes will not eliminate or
even significantly alleviate the very long mandatory minimum sentences
that many people are serving for crack cocaine offenses. Congress still
must act in order to eliminate the statutory 100 to 1 disparity between
crack and powder cocaine.
It has been more than 20 years...now is
the time to mend the cracked justice system!!!
Youth are invited to sound off on this
issue, too, at Teenink.com
video from the Crack the Disparity Lobby Day:
the preview for American Violet: