-- Click here for letter to President Obama --
Dear Speaker Pelosi,
I am writing to ask that you immediately call for a House vote on Rep. Bobby Scott's bill to eliminate the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences.
Your colleagues in the Senate are attempting to advance a watered-down compromise bill that would reduce the 100:1 disparity to 20:1. I am calling on you to push Rep. Scott's bill -- which would equalize sentences -- toward passage in the House. In the absence of your leadership, the Senate version could quickly become the only option, and this bill does not go far enough to address the racially discriminatory impact of the harsh crack laws.
Please prioritize a vote on Rep. Scott's bill so that the full House can unite behind a just plan to equalize sentences for crack and powder cocaine.
-- Click here for letter to Speaker Pelosi --
Dear President Obama,
I am writing to ask that you push Congress to pass the House bill that eliminates the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences.
As a presidential candidate, you called for complete elimination of the sentencing disparity and called the war on drugs "an utter failure." Soon after you took office, you had the White House web page changed to reflect your support for equalizing sentences for these substances. Those actions demonstrated the leadership we need to finally change the racially discriminatory crack laws, which have long fueled the disproportionate imprisonment of Black and poor people.
Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder said that he has "strongly supported eliminating [the disparity] to ensure our sentencing laws are tough, predictable and fair." So I was dismayed to hear that you support a weak Senate bill that would reduce the disparity to 20:1. Please stand by your commitment to meaningful reform and call for passage of a 1:1 bill.
Please let Congress know that you will not put bipartisanship ahead of decent, just law making, and work with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the House's crack/powder sentencing bill into law.