For Immediate Release

FAMM Praises Vote to Restore Sentencing Fairness

Judiciary Committee Approves Bill Ending Crack/Powder Disparity

WASHINGTON - Families Against Mandatory Minimums President Julie
Stewart released the following statement after the House Judiciary
Committee approved legislation to eliminate the disparity between crack
and powder cocaine sentences:
“Justice won today. Today’s vote represents another step to restoring
basic fairness to our sentencing laws and to fulfilling the
Constitution’s promise of equal justice under the law. We urge the full
House to act quickly on this measure.”

The legislation, H.R. 3245, known as The Fairness in
Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009, was sponsored by Rep. Bobby Scott
(D-Va.). The bill eliminates the current 100-to-1 disparity between
crack and powder cocaine sentences. 
Under current law, five grams of crack cocaine and 500
grams of powder cocaine trigger the same five-year sentence.  Fifty
grams of crack cocaine and five kilograms of powder cocaine trigger the
same 10-year sentence.  If H.R. 3245 becomes law, crack and powder
cocaine mandatory minimums will be equal:  500 grams will require five
years and 5 kilos (or 5,000 grams) will require 10 years, no matter
what form of cocaine is involved.
FAMM is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working
for fair and proportionate sentencing laws. For more information about
FAMM, H.R. 3245, or the crack/powder disparity, visit

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