New York's Rockefeller Drug Laws

"The Rockefeller drug laws are the first of the more notable laws passed to address the growing problem of drug abuse in the U.S. in the modern era.59 The laws, named for New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, were fairly simple: a conviction for a crime of possessing illegal drugs would result in a mandatory minimum sentence, with no flexibility.60 Felonies classified as A-1 felonies would result in a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.61 Other lesser felonies would result in lighter sentences, but the mandatory minimum sentencing was harsh in most cases.62"


Gilmore, Brian. Again and Again We Suffer: the Poor and the Endurance of the 'War on Drugs'. University of the District of Columbia Law Review (Washington, DC: The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, 2011) Volume 15, Number 1, p. 66.