Equal justice under the law still remains elusive for 20,000 people serving federal sentences for crack cocaine, despite the U.S. Sentencing Commission's long-awaited reform of federal sentencing guidelines for crack effective Nov. 1.

These prisoners are currently serving sentences so harsh that they will no longer be imposed on future defendants, but they are ineligible for relief because the new guideline is not yet retroactive.

The time is ripe for reform, especially given the bipartisan support. The Sentencing Commission should make the new guideline retroactive, and Congress must act decisively now to reform mandatory sentencing laws.

Frances Garcia

West Valley City