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Action Alert: Oppose Bills Creating Barriers to Voting!

01 March 2009 Published in Legislative Work

ACT NOW!

Stop Sentencing Discrimination.

It's Not Fair. It's Not Working.

Current federal sentencing law punishes crack cocaine offenders more severely than any other drug offenders for possession. Possessing or dealing 5 grams of crack cocaine results in the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as dealing 500 grams of powder cocaine.

 

This disparity has resulted in a disproportionate number of African Americans sentenced under this mandatory minimum law. Numerous judges, medical professionals and civil rights advocates have all called on Congress to end the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences, and legislation has now been introduced to do just that.

Please contact Senator Orrin Hatch and urge him to work closely with the other members of the Judiciary Committee to introduce and pass legislation that would treat both crack and powder cocaine equally under the law by completely eliminating the current disparity in sentencing and bringing crack cocaine sentences in line with current sentences for powder cocaine offenses.

You can call, fax or email Senator Hatch. His contact information is below.

Some talking points to use in your phone call, letter or email:

  • Current federal sentencing law punishes crack cocaine offenders more severely than any other drug offenders for possession. Possessing or dealing 5 grams of crack cocaine results in the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as dealing 500 grams of powder cocaine.
  • Sentencing guidelines for Crack Cocaine has a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minorities and has contributed to our country’s skyrocketing incarceration rates.
  • Focusing limited federal resources on drug kingpins and major traffickers, rather than on low-level, overwhelmingly non-violent street participants who currently comprise more than 60% of federal crack cocaine defendants, would result in better, smarter law enforcement, while restoring the traditional role of states in setting crime policy.
  • Eliminating the disparity between crack and powder cocaine would save money which is important in these economic this time of economic recession and record budget deficits.
  • The U.S. Sentencing Commission has estimated that a complete elimination of the disparity would reduce the number of prison beds needed by 10,010 resulting in a cost savings of $259,208,950 (with an average cost by the Federal Bureau of Prisons of $25,895 to care for each prisoner per year).

Take Action. Urge Senator Hatch to end the disparity.

Washington DC Office
104 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-5251
Tel:(801) 524-4380
Fax: (202) 224-6331

Send him an email through his website contact page

Email your Representative

Send a quick email to your Representative and ask them to support H.R.3245, the Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009. This legislation, introduced by Representative Robert Scott (D-VA), would completely eliminate the unjust and discriminatory disparity between crack and powder cocaine under federal law.

Click here to take action and email your Representative