New York Passes Modest Rockefeller Drug Law Reforms
What was a mandatory 15 year to life sentence will now be punished by a term of 8 to 20 years. The good news is that up to 400 offenders punished under the old law will be allowed to get out early. The bad news? The law doesn't go nearly far enough.
[Critics] complained that inmates serving what they called unduly long prison terms for lesser crimes would not be allowed to apply for early release, and that judges were not given the power to sentence some offenders to treatment programs rather than prison.
"This is it?" an exasperated State Senator Thomas Duane, a Manhattan Democrat, shouted during the debate. "This is it? After all this time, this is what comes to the floor? It would be an unbelievable stretch to call this Rockefeller drug reform."
New York's drug laws are among the harshest in the country:
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