Drugs and the Law

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CAPSTONE CLASS CULMINATION PROJECT
DRUGS AND THE LAW

Topic: The harsh reality of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, and the need for the Drug Law Reform Act of 2004 and 2009.
In order to adequately evolve my Culmination Project, I will have to discuss and provide a brief history of the criminal law statute NY PENAL § 220.00. It has evolved tremendously since Governor Rockefeller enacted the severe punishments for the sell and possession of controlled substances. Currently, the cases that I will use to support my project are:
• People v. Broadie, 37 N.Y.2d 100 (1975);
• People v. Jones, 39 N.Y.2d 694 (1976);
• People v. Donovan, 59 N.Y.2d 834 (1983); and
• People v. Thompson, 83 N.Y.2d 477 (1994).
The aforementioned cases will be the central focus of the project. However, upon the enactment of the Drug Law Reforms of 2004 and 2009, many inmates that were punished under the former Rockefeller Drug Laws, were eligible to apply for new sentencing. Therefore, I will discuss the new sentencing guidelines under NY PENAL § 70.71, and cite current cases of defendants which were able to be released under the current enactments.

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