Saturday, July 24, 2010

tell WaPo this is not good enough

there has been much discussion and many bills introduced to address the disparity between the sentencing of cocaine and crack cocaine. currently, possession of crack cocaine is punished 100 times more severely than powder cocaine. local representative Bobby Scott has introduced bills and fought for years to eliminate this disparity, but with no luck from the government. now, the Washington Post is pushing for a watered down crack cocaine reform bill. this new bill does not eliminate the disparity, but reduces it so that crack is punished 18 times more severely. further, talkleft is reporting that the bill also "adds sentencing enhancements for some drug crimes. Worst of all, the bill specifically states it is not retroactive, meaning it will not help those already serving unfair draconian sentences."

the post article brings attention to why this is such a big deal: "It soon became apparent that these numerical disparities carried racial implications: Those arrested for crack were largely African American, while those hit with more lenient powder cocaine penalties were usually white or Hispanic." true but this is omitting the intervening factor of class. perhaps this is an important first step, but ... obama, do something.

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