Some 12,000 prison inmates are eligible for reduced sentences for crack-cocaine convictions after the United States Sentencing Commission on Tuesday retroactively put the Congress’s Fair Sentencing Act in place. Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act in August 2010, easing the disparity of the minimum sentences of crack cocaine and powder cocaine from 100 to 1 to 18 to 1. An estimated 1,800 prison inmates were released immediately on Tuesday for time served. The old sentencing guidelines were seen as discriminating against African-Americans, since crack-cocaine offenders are more likely to be African-American and powder-cocaine offenders are more likely to be white.
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