US NY: OPED: Setting Kingpins Free (Letters)
Found: 2

1 US NY: OPED: Setting Kingpins FreeSun, 16 Jul 2006
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Snyder, Leslie Crocker Area:New York Lines:111 Added:07/17/2006

IN 2004, the New York State Legislature finally enacted changes to the draconian Rockefeller drug laws that imposed long mandatory sentences on major and minor drug dealers. The goal of these changes (later supplemented by further minor reform last year) was to prevent first-time nonviolent offenders -- especially low-level dealers and addicts selling to support their drug habits -- from serving unreasonably lengthy jail sentences.

The new law, the Drug Law Reform Act, reduced penalties, eliminated life sentences and afforded more plea-bargaining options, among other things.

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2 US NY: PUB LTE: Drug Sentences, Case By CaseSun, 23 Jul 2006
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kelly, Ray Area:New York Lines:42 Added:07/24/2006

To the Editor:

In "Setting Kingpins Free" (Op-Ed, July 16), the retired judge Leslie Crocker Snyder criticizes the Legislature's efforts to reform the Rockefeller drug laws, saying, "No one envisioned that the sentences of drug kingpins would be reduced."

No meaningful definition of "drug kingpin" exists. The Legislature understood this, and refused to use such epithets to distinguish who should benefit from the law, and who should not.

Some judges, much to Ms. Snyder's dismay, have exercised the power to sentence in the way thought best, based on individual circumstances. It appears that Ms. Snyder would prefer that judges seek her counsel on cases that appeared before her, before resentencing them.

By publishing her stance on the Legislature's reforms to the draconian Rockefeller drug laws, she manages to remain in the public eye and jumpstart her next run for Manhattan district attorney.

Ray Kelly

Pres., New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Albany

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