December 9, 2004 After more than 30 years of controversy, New York state lawmakers voted Tuesday to soften the so-called Rockefeller drug laws, reducing minimum mandatory sentence for drug convictions. The modified rules allow more than 400 inmates now serving lengthy sentences to appeal their cases. Among those applauding the change is Elaine Bartlett, who as a young mother of four was sentenced to 20 years in prison under the Rockefeller laws. NPR's Tavis Smiley speaks with Bartlett, investigative reporter Jennifer Gonnerman and New York City special narcotics prosecutor Bridgett Brennan.
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