Making history last week, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act is retroactive — meaning that thousands of individuals currently imprisoned under the discriminatory 100:1 crack/powder cocaine disparity may apply for sentence reduction. In 2010 the Fair Sentencing Act reduced the original disparity to 18:1, and for years advocates have been concerned that the new ratio only applied to people sentenced and charged after 2010.
The disparity in question came about as a result of a federal law called the Anti-Abuse Act passed in 1986 as a part of the infamous "War on Drugs." This law introduced a huge (100 to 1) disparity between the penalty for possession of crack cocaine and powder cocaine. A person had to possess 500 grams of powder cocaine before they were subject to the same mandatory prison sentence (5 years) as those possessing just 5 grams of crack cocaine, despite the fact that the two drugs have identical chemical compositions, thereby punishing small-scale crack cocaine users more severely than powder cocaine users.More »
Former FOX news host Glenn Beck promoted his racially divisive and vitriolic statements on the airwaves for years — until more than 285,000 ColorOfChange members raised their voices and he was forced to leave the network in 2011. At the end of April, a FOX news spokesperson confirmed the role of the ColorOfChange community in Beck's departure, revealing that Beck left due to the pressure of dwindling advertising dollars, not because he was "safeguarding his spirituality."
The ColorOfChange campaign to remove Glenn Beck's platform began in 2009 and culminated in more than 300 advertisers pulling their support from his program. This is the first time FOX has gone on record admitting the success of ColorOfChange members in standing up to what was once one of mainstream media's most prominent race-baiters.More »
On Thursday, Governor Martin O'Malley signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in Maryland. The bill was passed by the General Assembly in March after having languished in the Senate Judiciary Committee for years — failing to reach the floor in 10 of the previous 12 sessions.
The bill finally reached the floor thanks in part to pressure from ColorOfChange members and coalition partners. The heated floor debate in both chambers marked the first time since the practice was reinstated in 1978 that either the House or the Senate deliberated the death penalty.More »
President Obama's recent budget proposal includes a number of dangerous austerity measures that stand to harm poor and middle class families and threaten the economy. Reflecting the destructive idea that we can fix our economic crisis by weakening social programs key to a healthy economy, the plan suggests grave cuts to Social Security.
That's why we've launched a campaign demanding that President Obama and Congress negotiate a final budget that doesn't include unnecessary austerity measures. We need a budget that grows the economy through job creation, sound investments in education and infrastructure, and a system of increasing revenue that doesn't take from those who are the least able to pay. Check out the original email we sent and join us after the jump.More »
UPDATE: (4/24/13) The Delaware House Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on Senate Bill 19 today. You can follow the hearings by watching the hashtag #DERepeal for tweets from our coalition partners.
Delaware recently took a huge step toward becoming the 19th state in the country to abolish the death penalty. Just before the legislature's spring recess, the Delaware Senate passed SB19, which would repeal capital punishment in the state. Lawmakers returned to Dover today, and the House of Representatives is expected to begin deliberations on the bill shortly. Thus far, Governor Jack Markell has been silent on his position.
Across the country, race has been shown to be a determining factor in whether a defendant receives the death penalty, but in Delaware the problem is particularly pronounced. Delaware has sentenced Black defendants to death for the murder of white victims at a higher rate than South Carolina and Georgia combined.
Read the email we sent to our Delaware ColorOfChange members after the jump, and if you're a Delaware resident, please urge the state House and Gov. Markell to repeal the death penalty.More »