American Humanists praise Obama for signing Fair Sentencing Act

  • post Type / Members and partners
  • Date / 5 August 2010

IHEU member the American Humanist Association has welcomed the US Fair Sentencing Act, which significantly
reduces the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. “This corrects a historical injustice within our legal system,”
said Roy Speckhardt, executive director.
“The previous laws were racially biased and perpetuated the social and economic
hardships already plaguing many disadvantaged members of our community.”

The Fair Sentencing Act, which was signed into law by
President Obama on Tuesday, is expected to reduce the disproportionate racial
divide within prisons, reduce prison overpopulation, and save millions in
tax dollars. The Act will target high-level dealers and traffickers while
limiting excessive penalties for low-level crack offenders. The AHA
supported the bill, lobbying members of Congress for their votes.

“Justice shouldn’t be dependent upon class or race,” said
Speckhardt. “Correcting such flawed legal processes is a win for our society.
This is a step forward for all of us, though there is still a long way to

The AHA’s 2005 resolution on drug policy advocates “a world of
mutual care and concern.” It reads, “Current drug laws, including mandatory
minimum sentences, tend to disproportionately affect people with few financial
resources, leading to selective enforcement and disparities in sentencing.” And
concludes that, “What’s needed are rational and pragmatic solutions that focus
on harm reduction as a means to resolve the negative consequences of drug

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