Changing Laws to Save Lives: Make the New Crack Law) ( S. 1789 - Fair Sentencing Act of 2010) Retroactive

The drug policy has made a false distinction between powdered and crack cocaine and has perpetuated a racial caste system when it comes to our criminal justice system.

In 2007, the Sentencing Commission revised the Guidelines by lowering the base offense level for crack cocaine offenses by two levels, thereby eliminating the 100:1 ratio for future sentencing guideline purposes (except at the point at which the statutory mandatory minimums are triggered). In addition, the Sentencing Commission decided to make these amendments retroactively applicable, thus allowing eligible crack cocaine offenders who were sentenced prior to November 1, 2007, to petition a federal judge to reduce their sentences.

The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (S. 1789) changed the statutory 100:1 ratio in crack/powder cocaine quantities that trigger the mandatory minimum penalties under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b) (1). President Obama signed the bill into law on August 3, 2010 (P.L. 111-220). S. 1789 reduces the statutory 100:1 ratio to 18:1, by increasing the threshold amount of crack cocaine to 28 grams (for the 5-year sentence) and 280 grams (for the 10-year sentence). S. 1789 also eliminates the 5-year mandatory minimum for simple possession of crack cocaine.

We thank you for making these changes; however, we feel that this law should be made retroactive. These men and women should also benefit from The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (S. 1789). Please vote to make this law retroactive.


Virginia Neal