"One-Fifth As Racist As It Used To Be"

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Adam on the weak-sauce compromise Dick Durbin reached with GOP to narrow the crack/cocaine sentencing discrepancy:


The compromise was that Durbin would accept Sessions amendment to change the disparity from 100 to 1 to 20 to 1. In return, Sessions offered to withdraw his amendments that would have narrowed the circumstances under which a judge could reduce penalties for offenders who acted "fear, impulse or affection," and would have imposed a ten-year mandatory maximum for simple possession rather than eliminating the five-year mandatory minimum for simple possession entirely. " My position is for one to one, equity and equality in sentencing, but in order to get things done you have to be prepared to make mutual concessions," Durbin said. 

"That's what we have done." In a statement, the ACLU Legislative Counsel Jennifer Bellamy urged Congress to eliminate the disparity entirely, saying, "we finally have the political will and momentum to end this unconstitutional disparity. We should not miss this opportunity to effect real change and ensure fair sentencing for all Americans."

It's progress, I guess.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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