Rockefeller Grandaughter Arrested Protesting NY Drug Laws

Nelson Rockefeller's grandaughter was arrested while protesting the drug laws that bear her family's name.

Meile Rockefeller was arrested along with two state senators and eight other people outside Gov. Pataki's office.

"Prosecutors strongly support them, but a broad political consensus has formed that they have failed to work as intended — that they are too inflexible, too costly and too harsh when applied to low-level offenders who might do better with treatment and counseling than with long prison sentences. In Albany, political leaders have talked for years about change. But that's where it always ends, with talk."

The protest was sponsored by Correctional Association of New York, an organization that seeks repeal of the drug laws and uses the slogan "Drop the Rock."

Meile's brother Stuart Rockefeller was also at the protest but did not get arrested. Their uncle, Laurance Rockefeller, also opposes the drug laws. In a letter to the New York Times in June he wrote "Overly harsh laws and punishments have reduced faith in government, which is essential to the functioning of a democracy."

Meile, who has been a lawyer and a real estate developer, wants the drug laws repealed so that judges can "regain the power to decide whether a prison term or a treatment program works better for an offender and for society, because they "are the ones right there on the front lines."

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