USA - New York State Votes to Reduce Drug Sentences
Dec. 7. 2004 - Today in Albany, the Assembly and Senate passed a bill to change New York state’s notorious Rockefeller drug laws after years of inaction. The bill is now heading to Gov. Pataki’s desk for approval. Michael Blain, Director of Public Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance Network, one of the leading organizations in the Real Reform 2004 coalition, a coalition which includes survivors of the Rockefeller drug laws and their families, advocates, experts, and longtime activists, released this statement on the deal.
"We are pleased to announce that the Real Reform coalition’s campaign to repeal the draconian Rockefeller drug laws has generated results. Real Reform 2004, a coalition of over 300 organizations, has forced the Assembly and the Senate to pass a bill that is a small step in the right direction. The people of NY fully expect Gov. Pataki to do the right thing. For the last 31 years, these laws have incarcerated over a hundred thousand people, the vast majority of whom are people of color. We are pleased with the progress that has been made in Albany today, but we recognize that this is only the beginning of ending the unjust Rockefeller drug laws.
Our campaign must ultimately result in Real Reform. We have been working tirelessly on this issue, and will keep coming back until we have achieved full judicial discretion, more sentence reduction, retroactivity, and treatment. We will increase our efforts on all fronts until the Rockefeller drug laws are just a bad memory".