Hillary Clinton will unveil plans today aimed at ending racial profiling and reducing sentences for those caught using crack cocaine, the Boston Globe reports. The two proposals are designed to appeal to African-American voters who are disproportionately affected by both policies. The group is a key demographic for Clinton, particularly in the primary contests immediately following Iowa and New Hampshire. They are part of a broader set of changes to the criminal justice system that Clinton plans to roll out in coming days.
Clinton's plan would prohibit all levels of law enforcement from relying on race when making routine stops or “spontaneous investigative activity.” On cocaine, she would change sentencing rules so that crack and powder cocaine convictions are treated the same. Currently, those convicted of using crack face far steeper penalties. “Crack and powder cocaine are two forms of the same drug and continuing to treat them differently disproportionately hurts black Americans,” said. The initiatives, which will be announced in Atlanta, come days after Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, her closest competitor, proposed allowing states to decriminalize marijuana by removing the drug from the federal list of controlled substances. The change would let states develop their own policies for regulating marijuana.