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Senate Passes Bill to Lessen Sentences for Crack Cocaine

Sen. Leahy

Sen. Leahy

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A bill that lessens the sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine sailed through the Senate Wednesday night, the website Main Justice reported.

The Fair Sentencing Act establishes an 18-to-1 sentencing ratio for crack and powder cocaine offenses as opposed to the current 100-to-1 ratio. In other words, a person with crack cocaine currently gets the same mandatory sentence as someone with 100 times the amount of powdered cocaine.

“After more than 20 years, the Senate has finally acted on legislation to correct the crack-powder disparity and the harm to public confidence in our justice system it created,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a news release, according to Main Justice.

“Although this bill is not perfect and it is not the bill we introduced in order to correct these inequalities, I believe the Fair Sentencing Act moves us one step closer to reaching the important goal of equal justice for all.”

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