Congress Erases Disparity in Crack/Powder Cocaine Sentencing Laws
The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure to reduce the disparity between prison sentences for crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses. Under the new law, trafficking in 28 grams of crack cocaine (as opposed to just 5 grams under the old law), brings a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 5 years; and trafficking in 280 grams of crack cocaine (as opposed to just 50 grams under the old law), brings a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. However, there is no provision for retroactivity to apply to those persons already charged or sentenced under the old law. It is expected that President Obama will sign this legislation into law very soon.