President Barack Obama’s recent statement regarding Trayvon Martin has sentencing reform supporters hoping for action on racial inequities in drug law enforcement.
In a surprise statement on Friday, Obama addressed the reaction to the trial of George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty after killing a black teenager during an altercation last year.
The verdict, which has inflamed racial tension, is an opportunity to examine the racial disparities in the legal system, said Obama.
“There is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws — everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws,” he said. “And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.”