Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is leading a last-ditch effort to change federal sentencing guidelines for cocaine-related felonies, Fox News informed.
Currently, offenses involving crack cocaine carry much harsher sentences than those involving the powdered form of the drug.
Critics claim that the difference unfairly targets poorer groups who are more likely to be impacted by crack cocaine than by powder cocaine, which is typically used by more affluent drug users.
Currently, a group of senators is trying to sneak the drug reform legislation into the annual military bill.
In support of the legislation, which would work to equalize the sentencing criteria for cocaine offenses in all their forms, Booker is taking the lead.
According to Booker’s comments for Politico, they are now in a difficult negotiation phase, and he just wants to make sure he is focused on doing what he can to bring something across the finish line rather than discussing tactics.
The main area of debate is whether the Department of Justice will retroactively apply the lower sentencing to felons accused with crack cocaine offenses.
Booker wrote an opinion piece for Insider NJ in September in which he fervently supported equating the sentences for crack and powder cocaine.
The pharmacological properties of crack cocaine and powder cocaine are identical. According to Booker, there is no criminological rationale for the disparity in the sentence guidelines. Booker added that when 61 senators concur, there is no justification for continuing to tolerate such a heinous injustice.
The anguish this imbalance has caused to too many lives and families must cease, he continued, adding that they have the votes and that it is time to deliver the Equal Act to US President Joe Biden.
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