ALBANY—District attorneys from around the state, led by Staten Island's Dan Donovan, released this tape recording (caveat: it contains explicit language) supposedly of an incarcerated inmate talking with an associate out of jail, proclaiming newly enacted restructurings of the state's drug laws are creating "the beast."
"Now that I know I'm never gonna face no real time," the inmate says, "if I do catch another one, I'll be a first time offender anyway, ya know what I'm saying?"
Critics of the laws seized upon the recording immediately.
"When you've got the bad guys on tape saying it's drug protection, and a tape that says there's the drug protection act, that's exactly what's going to happen when they know that there's no penalty," State Senator Marty Golden told me by phone. "Crime will go up to further their agenda."
There was talk of delaying the implementation of some provisions of the drug laws that make it easier to seal the criminal records of offenders–Golden joined other Republicans in calling for their full repeal–but there doesn't appear to be a consensus around legislative action. David Paterson has said he stands by the legislation.
I asked Golden today if that meant he and other Republicans would try to introduce amendments scaling back the legislation, as they had alluded last week.
"We're going to talk to the conference today and see how we can address this," he said.