In 1991, the United States Sentencing Commission submitted a report to Congress calling for the abolition of mandatory minimums. We’re on the eve of the 30-year anniversary of that report. Yet we’ve made very little progress when it comes to the unfair sentencing practice.
Mandatory minimums have also perpetuated mass incarceration, and many states are working to reduce or eliminate the use of mandatory minimums in their courts. In short, criminal justice reform has solved one problem while exacerbating another.
The Fair Sentencing Act (FSA) was introduced to determine charges for crack and powder cocaine. In the FSA, it uses a 18:1 ratio for crack and powder cocaine, where 18 grams of powder cocaine or 1 gram of crack cocaine may result in statutory penalties.