NEW YORK, NY August 28, 2007 —The New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform will meet tomorrow to study recommendations on changing the Rockefeller Drug Laws, which advocates for drug reform say are the most severe in the nation.
REPORTER: In a press teleconference, several advocates urged the commission to make a major overhaul in the laws which strictly limit judges' discretion in sentencing non-violent drug offenders. Many convicted first-time felony offenders are mandated to serve seven to 21 years. Bob Gangi, of the Correctional Association, a prisoners' rights group, says the laws need to be drastically changed or repealed.
GANGI: The drug laws are outdated, wasteful, ineffective, unjust and marked by racial bias - they distort law enforcement practices and foster imbalance in the adjudication of drug cases.