Re-balancing crack cocaine convictions

Posted on: December 24th, 2013  |  No Comments

The Editorial Board of the Washington Post reported that last week, President Obama granted clemency to eight people serving long sentences on crack-cocaine convictions.

Because of a disparity in the law that is now recognized as unjust, they remain in prison, separated from their families and their communities, at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars each year.

Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America

Congress and the president agree that the old rules were unwise, yet many others sitting in prison deserve a chance to show that their sentences did not fit their crimes. Lawmakers are considering various ways to ease sentences — and the strain on the prison system — by applying new sentencing standards to old convictions.

Politicians should embrace the opportunity to re-balance, in a measured way, how the country punishes criminals. Mr. Obama’s latest move is welcome. We hope it is not his last.

via The Washington Post

A version of this article appeared in print on Tuesday, December 24, 2013, on page A16 of The Washington Post with the headline: Insufficient mercy Thousands imprisoned for crack deserve a shot at fairer sentences. By The Washington Post Editorial Board

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