Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New York: Scrooge No More? 2 Commutations!

Elizabeth Benjamin is back, reporting Governor David A. Paterson has announced that he has commuted the sentences of Joanne Carroll and Freddie Warren, "two individuals who have demonstrated remarkable rehabilitation while incarcerated, and whose requests for clemency were approved at all stages of the clemency process. " Paterson also said the two "dedicated themselves to becoming productive members of society by excelling in education, vocational, and volunteer programs" and that he remained "firmly committed" to "protecting public safety by continuing efforts to fight crime." Wha?

Benjamin says that, in New York, those whose sentences are commuted are not automatically released. The State Parole Board considers them for parole release in early January. The Clemency Bureau at the Division of Parole and the Governor's Office reviewed over 450 applications for executive clemency and "more than half of the applications did not meet eligibility criteria, including the requirement that the applicant must have served at least one-half of his or her minimum sentence."

Finally, the Governor announced that he "will again consider granting clemency" at "any time of the year" for deserving applicants who meets eligibility criteria.

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