• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

US: End in Sight for Infamous Crack Cocaine Laws

expandmymind

Banned
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
229
Reaction score
120
Location
Scotland
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Legislation to Address Racial Disparity in Sentencing Heads to President Obama’s Desk

(New York) – Legislation approved by the House on July 28, 2010, will dramatically alter the historically more punitive approach to federal crack cocaine offenders that led to racial disparities in sentencing, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, which the Senate passed in March, is on its way to President Barack Obama for his signature.

“The new legislation will end the egregiously and needlessly long crack sentences that were a hallmark of federal drug sentencing,” said Jamie Fellner, senior counsel in the US program at Human Rights Watch. “The racial disparities in sentencing that result from the current law are unconscionable.”
US: End in Sight for Infamous Crack Cocaine Laws | Human Rights Watch

This will be a massive step forward for the unequal treatment of blacks in America with regards to prison sentences. But there is still a long way to go.

US: A Long Way to Go | Human Rights Watch

For too long, the sentence for crack cocaine has been used as a pretty blatant way to keep the black population of the prisons up, feeding the illusion that more black people are guilty of this crime than whites. It accounts for a massive portion of the incarcerated black population. There is no point in keeping any drugs illegal, but that is a discussion for another time I think.

"In 2008, the average sentence for federal crack cocaine drug offenders was 114.5 months, compared with an average sentence of 91 months for federal powder cocaine offenders. The new legislation reduces the ratio to 18-to-1. The act will also eliminate the current mandatory minimum five-year sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine, which is the only federal mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of a drug, even by a first-time offender.

Blacks have constituted the preponderance of federal crack cocaine offenders since the 100-1 differential was enacted, despite the fact that more whites used crack. In Fiscal Year 2008, 79.8 percent of federal defendants sentenced for crack cocaine offenses were black. But, according to federal drug use surveys, 27 percent of crack cocaine users were black and 65 percent were white. The disproportionate number of black drug offenders sentenced for crack cocaine offenses helps explain the far longer average sentence lengths for all black federal drug offenders: 111.5 months compared to 73.5 months.
"

I find it sad that it had to take a black President for this to change.
 
Last edited:

samsmart

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
10,316
Reaction score
6,470
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
This will be a massive step forward for the unequal treatment of blacks in America with regards to prison sentences. But there is still a long way to go.
Personally, I think this will be a massive step forward for the unequal treatment of recreational drug users in America with regards to prison sentences.
 

RightinNYC

Girthless
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
25,894
Reaction score
12,484
Location
New York, NY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
I find it sad that it had to take a black President for this to change.
FWIW, it's not like Obama's the driving force behind this. The Sentencing Commission has been pushing for this legislation for years, as have most legal observers.
 

expandmymind

Banned
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
229
Reaction score
120
Location
Scotland
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
FWIW, it's not like Obama's the driving force behind this. The Sentencing Commission has been pushing for this legislation for years, as have most legal observers.
I was aware (having read the report) that there has been pressure for a long time regarding this law. You're correct though, Obama shouldn't get all the credit for this and I probably shouldn't have equated the two but he was the one to push it through the final barrier. I'm not sure if we would have seen McCain do the same.

It's probably the one thing Obama will walk away proud of when he leaves the White House. That, and possibly healthcare.
 

Orion

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
8,083
Reaction score
3,918
Location
Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Equal sentencing? There should be no sentencing.

The war on drugs itself is criminal and a dismal failure.
 
Top Bottom