There have been two very distinct reactions to the news that thousands of inmates imprisoned for charges related to the use or distribution of crack cocaine are being released. In Virginia, the issue is especially prominent as the eastern district of Virginia is releasing the highest number of affected inmates in the county. In this district alone, 75 inmates will be released today under the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.


On One Side: Cheers


Families of the prisoners, defense attorneys, and those concerned with the rights of minorities are relieved that the too-strict sentencing of those in possession of crack cocaine has been reversed. They point to the fact that the now defunct law punished those in possession of crack cocaine 100 times more severely than those in possession of the powdered form.


In general, black defendants had been caught with crack while white defendants were most often found with powdered cocaine. Many see the reversal as justice served to those who long suffered under an unfair, prejudiced law.


On the Other Side: Jeers


Others are concerned that the release of some 12,000 inmates over the next few years will drive up the rates of drug and violent crimes where the released prisoners settle. They also fear that less strict sentencing will drive up use and sales of crack cocaine.


However, for those who have missed loved ones, and for the imprisoned who are ready to reenter society and make a change for the better, the Fair Sentencing Law is the answer to their prayers. The sister of an inmate who is about to be released spoke about just how serious her brother is in making the best use of his early release.


"He wants to get out, get a job and get his life back together," said Susan Cardwell, sister of soon to be released Darryl Flood. "He says he'll work two jobs if he has to."


The Norfolk, Va. criminal law attorneys at Tavss Fletcher are glad to see the Fair Sentencing Act being implemented. If you believe that your loved one should be eligible under the new law and need help ensuring their timely release, do not hesitate to call 1.757.625.1214. Contact an aggressive, experienced Norfolk criminal lawyer today.

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