Adopted as amended
WHEREAS, the NAACP has consistently supported a complete elimination of the 100:1 crack v. powder cocaine sentencing disparity; and
WHEREAS, everyone seems to agree that crack cocaine use is higher among Caucasians than any other group: most authorities estimate that more than 66% of those who use crack cocaine are white. Yet in 2006, 82% of those convicted and sentenced under federal crack cocaine laws were African-American. When you add in Hispanics, the percentage climbs to above 96%; and
WHEREAS, the United States Senate recently passed legislation (S. 1789, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2009) to reduce the sentencing disparity from 100:1 to 18:1; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP appreciates all of the hard work that has gone into this legislation; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP further appreciates that S. 1789, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2009, represents the first time Congress has moved to reduce any mandatory minimum sentence; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP also recognizes and appreciates that everyone involved in the negotiations seems to agree that the current 100:1 sentencing disparity has had a hugely unfair and discriminatory impact on African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities; and
WHEREAS, it is estimated that if passed as written, the legislation reducing the sentencing disparity from 100:1 to 18:1 will result in nearly 4,000 fewer Americans being in jail in 10 years; and
WHEREAS, because stark racial disparities will undoubtedly continue to exist if there is any discrepancy between crack and powder cocaine sentencing.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will continue to push for complete parity between crack and powder cocaine sentencing while working to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences and addressing other racial disparities in the American criminal justice system; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP also strongly support that we appeal African American federal crack cases linked to the Fair Sentencing Act of 2009 for a sentence reduction; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP also strongly supports applying retroactively any reduction in sentencing.