Fair Sentencing Act Law and Legal Definition

Fair Sentencing Act is an effort to restore fairness to federal cocaine sentencing. The Act reduced the disparity in the amounts of powder cocaine and crack cocaine required for the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences and eliminates the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine.

Before the Act, persons arrested for crack offenses, especially African American men, faced far harsher penalties than the white and Hispanic suspects most often caught with powder cocaine. The Fair Sentencing Act reduced the disparity to 18 to 1. Additionally, the Act eliminates a mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession.