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March 27, 2009

New York drug sentencing laws finally to get serious reform

As detailed in these links, the AP and Reuters are now reporting that reform of the New York Rockefeller drug laws are a done deal:

I will remain chary of any celebration until the Rock reform law is signed, sealed and delivered.  But I do think that all the folks who have been working on this issue for so long may have an extra reason to celebrate this weekend (but let's keep it legal, sports fans).

March 27, 2009 at 05:17 PM | Permalink


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Very surprised to continue to see people accepting the politicians' rhetoric without any concern over what the law actually does. Anybody notice all the vague language in the reports and shocking absence of detail?

Posted by: shg | Mar 27, 2009 5:44:16 PM

Just what cities need, a lot more drug criminals released onto the streets. I am sure the future unknown victims will be less in a celebratory mood.

What is it about Democrats and criminals? Is sympathy towards criminals in their genetic makeup?

Posted by: federalist | Mar 27, 2009 5:57:16 PM

Should these guys get some credit?


Posted by: federalist | Mar 27, 2009 7:04:03 PM

New Yorkers deserve the return of the criminal victimization rates of the 1980's by their left wing voting. Berman believes this is a cause for celebration. Why? The drug dealer is a lawyer customer, generating massive lawyer jobs. Not much lawyer work if in stir.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 27, 2009 8:00:58 PM

Who are the real victims of non-violent drug offenses? Certainly not all of the "future victims" you suggest. It's the families and loved ones whose lives are shattered. It's so easy to suggest that every individual who ends up behinds bars is a terrible human being and deserves to spend the rest of their life there. That is, until its someone you know or care about, or even yourself ends up making a mistake.

There are undeniably individuals who deserve to be in prison and stay there, but there is also, without doubt, a number of first time, non-violent offenders who genuinely made a mistake and deserve a second chance. I completely support such legislation, as a Republican. Unless of course you would rather continue to spend upwards of $40,000 per year on housing, food, providing medical and dental benefits, and big screen TVs...

Posted by: Mike | Mar 27, 2009 9:34:24 PM

Mike: Obviously not a lawyer because you talk like a human being. I have no dispute with you. Rest assured there are no people in prison who just made a mistake. It is extremely difficult to get in. There are long waiting lists.

First, each conviction stands in for 1000 crimes. The criminal lover lawyer has immunized his client, and does not want to end crime. Second, the criminal lover prosecutor loves the criminal and carefully caters to the criminal, filing charges only in a small number of cases, unless the case will make the papers, and promote the criminal lover lawyer's career. The criminal lover prosecutor does use these long sentences in negotiations to force people to snitch on each other. Some do so falsely or exaggerate, and that is a place where injustice can take place, by false accusations by other criminals seeking an advantage for themselves. Next the criminal lover judge will protect the ultra-violent thug from any serious accountability, and many, many times as the thug repeatedly comes before him. Why? They are rent seeking cult criminals, and the rent comes before all else for this criminal cult enterprise.

Finally, the thug kills people for a dollar, and then the lawyer finds room for him in jail. He jacks dozens of people in cars. He destroys a neighborhood, and victimizes hundreds of people, especially black folks. The racist, criminal lover lawyer does not care about black victims. The racist, criminal lover lawyer cannot even utter the V Word in public. He chokes, gags, and needs to get air whenever the V Word is about to come out. Test this effect at a party. Chat up a lawyer for a time. Then pop the question. "Can you do me a favor by taking a brief test? Say the V word out loud." None can.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 27, 2009 10:06:50 PM

Vacuous? Vapid?

Posted by: Mark | Mar 27, 2009 11:16:37 PM

According to BJS reports the NY prison population decreased from 70,199 in 2000 to 62,623 in 2007 and is about 60,000 today according the the NY DOC web page. This means that from 2000 to the present NY prison releases have exceeded admissions. If the NY prison system behaves similarly to other system this is because the new court commitments and returns have both decreased over the past nine years.

Under the present law the prosecution decides if a convict can be diverted to a drug treatment program and the judge can agree or if they disagree sentence the convict to prison. Under the proposed revision the judge can also overrule the prosecution and divert the convict to drug treatment. So the question is how frequently will judges overrule the prosecution and put convicts into a drug treatment program? If the answer is seldom not much will be changed.

Normally the annual prison population is estimated by a snapshot taken in June near the end of the fiscal year. If the law is revised and the NY prison population continues to decrease the press will probably say the revision is responsible (even though some of them know the legislation does not become law until July 1, 2009). If the population stays the same or increases the press will probably quote someone who will say the bad economy is responsible.

Posted by: John Neff | Mar 28, 2009 7:40:06 PM

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