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Obama Plans Mass Clemency for Low Level Offenders


President Obama is planning a mass pardon for hundreds or even a few thousand drug offenders
The Justice Department announced a new clemency process that could allow thousands of low-level felons, mostly non-violent drug offenders, to seek clemency. This is part of a new administration effort to ease prison overcrowding while addressing past disparities in sentencing.
In the 1980s, Congress passed tough mandatory minimum sentences for crimes involving crack cocaine. It is a cheap, highly addictive form of cocaine. More blacks than whites were incarcerated during that time. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced that racial disparity and eliminated a five-year mandatory minimum for first-time possession of crack cocaine.


Some critics claim the president's actions doesn't go far enough. It doesn't address the laws still in place that will only make the problem arise again down the road, and it doesn't address the bigger problem at the state level, where most nonviolent drug offenders are incarcerated and the prisons are even more overcrowded.

Regardless of what the critics may say, it's still a start in the right direction for a justice system that has affected so many lives in the African American community.





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