Pubdate: Sat, 06 Apr 2002
Source: Newsday (NY)
Copyright: 2002 Newsday Inc.
Authors: Jessica Faugno-Ramirez and John Miner
Bookmark: (Rockefeller Drug Laws)


In "Fighting Drugs" [Letters, March 15], Bronx District Attorney Robert 
Johnson states that crime rates have dropped and neighborhoods have grown 
safer because of tough anti-drug strategies. Well, the Rockefeller drug 
laws were implemented in 1973; why did it take so long for crime to 
decline? It has only been in recent years that the murder rate has dropped 
so dramatically. This decrease is a nationwide trend.

The Rockefeller drug laws benefit upstate Republican districts where 
prisons are a booming industry. And they benefit prosecutors, like Johnson, 
by taking discretion in sentencing from judges and giving it to district 
attorneys. A first-time, non-violent drug offender who is convicted is 
automatically given a minimum sentence of 15 years to life. The 
circumstances of the case do not matter. He or she is given a sentence 
normally reserved for murderers. No matter how you look at it, this is not 

Jessica Faugno-Ramirez Bronx

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With the Supreme Court upholding zero-tolerence, one-strike-you're-out 
policies for tenants of public housing - even if they're unaware of 
illicit-substance use by their children ["Court Backs Evictions for Drugs," 
News, March 27] - shouldn't George W. Bush be required to vacate the White 
House? I'm sure it, like public housing, is federally subsidized, and his 
daughter has twice been found guilty of underage drinking.

John Miner College Point
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