A unanimous Court of Appeals held Thursday that the Rockefeller Drug Law reforms enacted in 2004 were not meant to be applied retroactively, a ruling that dashes the hopes of many offenders serving harsh sentences under antiquated and now largely revised narcotics statutes.

Additionally, the court held in a separate memorandum that in cases where a Rockefeller Drug Law defendant requests resentencing and is denied, the court has no review authority. That holding, observers said, means the four appellate divisions are free to make their own determinations on an issue of law — and the Court of Appeals can do nothing to reconcile what could be conflicting interpretations.

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