Monday, December 29, 2008

New York: Scrooge II?

Elizabeth Benjamin of the Daily News is taking Governor David Paterson to task because the year is almost over and he "has so far yet to uphold the holiday tradition of doling out executive clemencies to New York prison inmates deemed deserving of early release." Benjamin reports Paterson's press office is "mum" on the topic, "but it seems possible he might follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, on this particular issue (as he has in so many areas) and take a pass altogether."
One of Paterson's first acts upon taking over the governor's office from Spitzer was to issue a pardon for Ricky "Slick Rick" Waters, a hip-hop artist convicted in 1991 on attempted murder and weapons charges who was facing deportation to the UK.

Spitzer granted a pardon request, too. But, as Papa noted, he provided no clemencies to drug offenders, leading activists to label the former governor a "Scrooge."

Prior to Spitzer's pardon of Frederick Lake, a Brooklyn man who faced deportation to Jamaica due to his conviction of a 1989 robbery, the last gubernatorial pardon granted in New York occurred in 2003. It was posthumously awarded by Pataki to the comedian Lenny Bruce, who had been convicted of "using foul language in public."
See complete article here.

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