Pubdate: Wed, 03 Jul 2002
Source: Journal News, The (NY)
Copyright: 2002 The Gannett Company, Inc.
Author: Audrey Rogers
Bookmark: (Rockefeller Drug Laws)


It is most unfortunate that yet again, despite bipartisan recognition that 
New York's Rockefeller drug laws need change, the New York state 
Legislature has failed to agree on the terms of the reform.

Incredibly, Assemblywoman Naomi Matusow was the only Democrat in 
Westchester County to vote against a compromise bill that the Assembly 
passed last week.

Ms. Matusow's remarks on a local news show that the bill might let violent 
felons go free is simply incorrect. In fact, according to a press release 
by Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver, the "cornerstone of the Assembly plan is 
an effort to reduce New York's crime rate by ensuring that non-violent 
offenders complete effective drug treatment" (emphasis added). The Assembly 
bill Ms. Matusow, D-North Castle, voted against actually increased 
sentences for major drug traffickers and adult offenders attempting to sell 
drugs to children, while it saved taxpayers millions of dollars currently 
spent to incarcerate non-violent offenders.

One can only wonder why Ms. Matusow would go against her own party in 
failing to recognize that reform is long overdue. Her vote demonstrates a 
lack of understanding of the issues, and her constituents should be 
disappointed in her action.

Audrey Rogers,  White Plains
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom