One of the most blatant injustices in our nation's drug laws (which are themselves an injustice) has always been the disparity in sentencing between those who were caught selling crack and those who were caught selling powder cocaine. Crack sentences have always been much, much harsher. (Racism, by scaremongering "tough on crime" politicians? Yes, it's racism by scaremongering "tough on crime" politicians.) A 2010 law finally brought crack sentences down to earth, very relatively speaking. And now: a bit of good news, for crack stragglers.
The Supreme Court ruled today that people who were arrested before the new law but not sentenced until after the new law could take advantage of the new law and its more lenient sentencing. Like so:
Corey A. Hill and Edward Dorsey were arrested in 2007 and 2008 in Illinois for selling crack cocaine and were given mandatory 10-year sentences in Illinois.
But they weren't sentenced until after the Fair Sentencing Act went into effect in August 2010. Under the new law, Hill and Dorsey would face just three or four years in jail.
The four most conservative justices dissented, of course, because it would be far better for American society to keep small-time drug hustlers in prison for TEN FUCKING YEARS. TEN YEARS FOR FIFTY GRAMS OF CRACK.
America's drug sentencing guidelines remain insane. But slightly less insane.