Graham takes on drug sentencing inequities

Last week was a busy one in Washington for U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. Besides meeting at the White House on immigration policy, introducing energy programs for South Carolina, and fighting the reconciliation shortcut to pass health care legislation, Graham also took up sentencing reform.
The topic: legislation to reduce the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine convictions.
The vote: unanimous approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee for a compromise bill negotiated by Senators Graham, Durbin, Sessions, and others, 19-0 in support.
Under current law, five  grams of crack triggers a mandatory five-year prison sentence. It requires 500 grams of powder cocaine to receive an equal five-year mandatory sentence. The disparity in sentencing is 100-to-1. With this law, it would be almost 20-to-1.
Graham says “The law created inequities,” after the federal government cracked down on crack because they thought it was a plague to minority communities.
He says this legislation is a good example of where Senators actually listened to one another, recognized there was a problem and worked together to address it in a productive fashion.”