Obama signs bill reducing gap in cocaine sentences

Washington, D.C. – - President Barack Obama has signed a bill to
reduce the disparity between federal mandatory sentences for
convictions for crack cocaine and the powder form of the drug.
Obama's signing of the bill in the Oval Office was open only to
news photographers but not the rest of the media. He made no
But as a longtime thorn for the black community, the matter is
important to a key Obama constituency. The quarter-century-old law
that Congress changed with the new bill has subjected tens of
thousands of blacks to long prison terms for crack cocaine
convictions while giving far more lenient sentences to those,
mainly whites, caught with powder.