h/t AtlantaPost. this is worth me coming out of summer hibernation for!
On Wednesday afternoon, the House voted to reduce racial inequity that has historically existed relative to the sentencing of people caught with crack cocaine versus powder cocaine. To be charged with a felony, crack users needed to possess only 5 grams of the drug to be sentenced with the same charge that powder cocaine users needed to be caught with (500 grams).
For years, this 100-1 ratio landed many young African-Americans across the country in prison industrial complexes at a much higher rate than Caucasians caught with cocaine in the suburbs. According to research by the Human Rights Watch, “Blacks comprise 62.7 percent and whites 36.7 percent of all drug offenders admitted to state prison, although there are five times more white users than black. Moreover, black men are admitted to state prison on drug charges at a rate that is 13.4 times greater than that of white men.” And, statistics continue to show that there are more Black men (between the ages of 20 and 29) under the control of the nation’s criminal justice system than the total number in college.
Although a 1-1 ratio of crack cocaine and powder cocaine would have been ideal, it brings joy to know that lawmakers put aside ideological differences and political posturing to pass a law that has been needed for a very long time. The 18-1 ratio, which means 28 grams of crack cocaine to 500 grams of powder cocaine, is the primary tenet of the Fair Sentencing Act and is a major step forward toward social justice- a virtue that appears to have dissipated away in recent years.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris
Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats