BALANCING THE SCALES OF JUSTICE –   

Sept 28, 2021 – In 2018 during President Donald Trump’s administration, Congress passed the First Step Act, which sought to help more lower-level crack cocaine offenders take advantage of the less stringent ratio and apply retroactively for sentence reductions.

Earlier this year, however, the Supreme Court ruled that low-level crack cocaine offenders could not retroactively apply to have their sentences reduced.

U.S. Sentencing Commission data has showed that 87.5 percent of the people serving federal prison time for drug trafficking offenses primarily involving crack cocaine were Black. An investigation by Ashbury Park Press and USA Today found that Black users and dealers were arrested more frequently and handed stricter prison sentences than whites accused of drug crimes.  If the EQUAL Act becomes law, it would permanently and entirely eliminating the crack-cocaine disparity, and it would retroactively apply to those who were previously sentenced, allowing people to take advantage of the new law.

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