But we still have a long ways to go. Anyone who has sat in a courtroom and watched a white cocaine dealer get two years probation and then a black kid who was dealing crack get 10 years in the federal pen knows that this is too little too late.
Crack cocaine sentencing go into effect
WASHINGTON - New federal sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine offenders went into effect Thursday, lowering the recommended sentencing range for people caught with the drug.
The new U.S. Sentencing Commission guidelines for those possessing 5 grams or more of crack cocaine are prison terms of 51 months to 63 months, down from the old range of 63 months to 78 months. The new range for offenders possessing at least 50 grams is 97 months to 121 months in prison, down from 121 months to 151 months. Those ranges apply for first-time crack-cocaine convictions. . .
Federal law sets a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence for trafficking in 5 grams of crack cocaine. It takes 500 grams of cocaine powder to warrant the same sentence. The crack-powder disparity has a strong racial dimension because more than four-fifths of crack cocaine offenders in federal courts last year were black.