August 3rd, 2010
01:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama signs bill reducing cocaine sentencing gap

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" President Obama on Tuesday signed the Fair Sentencing Act."]Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama signed a bill Tuesday reducing the disparity in penalties for the use of crack and powder cocaine, according to the White House.

The enactment of the law seals a hard-fought victory for civil rights activists who have argued for years that the differing punishments unfairly target African-Americans.

The Fair Sentencing Act repeals a five-year mandatory sentence for first time offenders, and for repeat offenders with less than 28 grams of crack cocaine. The old law set the mandatory sentence for conviction at five grams.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. seebofubar

    Excellent job Barry, you just signed the death warrent for countless inner city kids who may not have gotten involved with crack due to the severe penalty. You are a discgace to your community and the nation. You are nothing but a self centered worthless stooge!!

    August 3, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. DENNA

    This is the absolute right thing to do. The penalties for possessing these drugs should be high, very high, and it should not matter if the offender is from the hard-scrabble ghetto, or the status-symbol land of the wealthy suburbs. These drugs kill and this drug does not care who sells it or who ingests it.

    August 3, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    "End the failed war on Drugs" Regulate all drugs and take the profits away from the criminals. maybe we can cut down on the violence and death caused by our lack of reasonable regulation.

    If you can not keep drugs out of prisons, than how in the world even with billions spent on enforcement do you expect to keep it out of a free society?

    When will the US Government stop doing the same failed policy over and over, continue to escalate this “war on drugs” and begin to look for other solutions? When alcohol was legalized the policy wasn’t changed because the use and or abuse of alcohol were a good thing for personnel behavior. Alcohol was not declared safe it was regulated. The policy and the laws were changed because the criminal gangs, the violence and the corruption were unacceptable damage of the policy of prohibition.

    August 3, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Steve (the real one)

    Current law does not unfairly target African-Americans. Current law targets users and distributers of crack, no matter what the skin color.
    Don't use or sell crack and there are no worries about the law and prison! Pretty simple! I can't wait to read the excuses!

    August 3, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. jeff jackson, alabama

    Why heck Mr. Prez. let's just tell them to quit dealing and
    let them go.

    August 3, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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