Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jun 2005
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2005 The New York Times Company
Author: Clay Rockefeller
Bookmark: (Mandatory Minimum Sentencing)
Bookmark: (Rockefeller Drug Laws)

To the Editor:

I write on behalf of 37 other direct descendants of Nelson A. Rockefeller. 
Thirty-two years ago, as governor of New York, he signed what have become 
known as the Rockefeller drug laws.

As members of the Rockefeller family, we are proud to be associated with so 
many of the legacies of Governor Rockefeller, who dedicated his life to 
serving the people of New York and the country. The laws he put into place 
32 years ago were meant to combat the destructive forces of drug abuse and 
the drug trade. Unfortunately, these laws have proved extremely costly and 
have not produced the desired results.

We are confident that if Governor Rockefeller were alive today and privy to 
the data that now exist, he would agree that three immediate reforms are 
desperately needed: first, ending mandatory minimum sentences; second, 
ending weight-based sentencing for drug crimes, with judicial focus on 
punishing drug kingpins; and third, providing financing for alternatives to 

New York legislators have begun to reform these anachronistic and 
counterproductive drug laws. They now need to complete what they have started.

Clay Rockefeller

Providence, R.I., May 22, 2005 
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