DEFENDER SERVICES OFFICE
TRAINING DIVISION





CRACK COCAINE SENTENCING >
INTRODUCTION

Over the past several years some progress has been made in reducing the harsh sentences for crack cocaine offenses. Most recently, on August 3, 2010 the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA) was signed into law, reducing to approximately 18 to 1 the sentencing ratio amount of powder cocaine versus crack cocaine that triggers the same penalty. The legislation also eliminates the mandatory minimum for simple possession of crack. The Sentencing Commission has promulgated amendments implementing the directives of the Act.


The resources on this page help explain the new law and applicable sentencing guidelines. In addition, you will find information on prior actions by the Sentencing Commission addressing crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity, and reports and testimony useful when arguing for non-guidelines sentences in crack cases.