Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences Eliminated in Rhode Island
Story Created: Nov 19, 2009 at 5:45 PM EST
Story Updated: Nov 19, 2009 at 5:45 PM EST
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A new law eliminating mandatory minimum drug sentences in Rhode Island has taken effect without the governor’s signature.
Similar measures had been vetoed in past years by Gov. Don
Carcieri. But supporters say they compromised on this year’s legislation by removing a provision that placed a cap on the maximum sentence a judge could give for drug possession
The new law, which took effect this month, leaves the sentence
to the judge’s discretion.
Under the old law, anyone caught manufacturing, possessing or
dealing up to one kilogram of heroin or cocaine, or up to five
kilograms of marijuana, could face a minimum 10-year sentence.
Despite that, many drug offenders in Rhode Island actually
receive and serve far shorter sentences.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)