Thousands of inmates who have been incarcerated for possessing small amounts of cocaine will get a taste of freedom soon due to the Crack Cocaine Disparity Law, according to CNN. The law changes the 100-to-1 disparity between minimum sentences for crack and powder cocaine to 18-to-1.
In the old system, people who were caught with 5 grams of cocaine would receive the same sentence as those caught with 500 grams, 5 years of jail time. Now those sentences will be cut in half for convicts busted for small amounts of drugs. Over 12,000 inmates are eligible for early release.
Michael Nachmanoff, the federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia told CNN:
“This really has been one of the great stains on our federal criminal justice system for 20 years or more. This disparity between the punishment for crack cocaine and powder was really unjustified.”
The law is going into effect now, but it was passed in August 2010.