One of Vermont’s federal judges says a decision to allow about 19,000 federal prison inmates to seek reductions in their crack cocaine sentences will dramatically affect some African American families.
Judge William Sessions is a member of The U.S. Sentencing Commission, which sets guidelines for federal prison sentences.
The commission decided yesterday to make retroactive its recent easing of recommended sentences for crack cocaine offenses.
The decision means about 4,000 inmates could be eligible for release within a year.
More than 80 percent of federal defendants in crack cases are black. Most powder cocaine convictions involve white people.