Stop Discriminatory Sentencing

Tell President Obama and House Speaker Pelosi to end the crack/powder disparity

Discriminatory sentencing laws have caused great harm to our communities—they're one of the reasons 1 in 15 Black adults is behind bars. The Senate Judiciary Committee just had a chance to help end the discriminatory sentencing disparity between crack vs. powder offenses.

Instead, for purely political reasons, they've voted for a watered-down compromise that simply reduces the disparity, and continues causing unnecessary harm to our communities. It's shameful.

Tell President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to intervene and push for passage of the House version of the bill, which would eliminate the sentencing disparity.

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Read the e-mail message that we originally sent to our members about this petition.

Here is the text of the petitions we'll present to President Obama (see link for Speaker Pelosi) unless you create your own statement.

-- 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.

Sincerely,

[your name]