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March 4, 2009

New York getting closer to dropping the rock

The New York Times has this new piece, headlined "Albany Takes Step to Repeal Rockefeller Drug Laws," that suggests that the state's drug sentencing laws are on the verge of real reform.  Here is how it starts:

The State Assembly on Wednesday announced that it has agreed to pass legislation to repeal much of what remains of the state’s 1970s-era drug laws.

The proposal, scheduled to come to a floor vote late Wednesday afternoon, would be the first pivotal step in a push to dismantle the laws that tied judges’ hands and imposed mandatory prison terms for many nonviolent drug offenses.

The Assembly’s proposal restores judges’ discretion in sentencing in many lower-level drug possession crimes. Judges would be able to send many offenders to treatment programs instead of prison without receiving consent from prosecutors. In addition, the measure would permit about 2,000 prisoners to apply to have their sentences reconsidered.

March 4, 2009 at 03:12 PM | Permalink


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Probably because the state is broke, right?

Posted by: Anon | Mar 4, 2009 5:36:30 PM

Have you read the bill yet? Calling it the end of the Rockefeller laws might be a bit of an overstatement.

Posted by: shg | Mar 5, 2009 10:06:48 AM

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