Lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that would reduce the long-standing disparity between federal sentences for crack and powder cocaine distribution.
The vote in the U.S. House of Representatives follows a debate that has raged since the 1980s. Critics have blasted the distinction between crack and cocaine sentencing — 5 grams of crack triggers a mandatory sentence of five years while it takes 500 grams of cocaine to trigger the same sentence. The disparity has had a disproportionate impact on African-American men, the critics say.
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