Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New York: Commutation of Sentence

Wayne Prospect, a former Suffolk County legislator, was sentenced to a term of 2 1/2 to 7 1/2 years in prison in 2006 for accepting a bribe and conspiracy. Governor David A. Paterson has now announced that he has commuted Prospect's sentence so he can live with his mother and brother and qualify to enroll in specialized medical programs. Prospect is terminally ill. It is reported that a clemency application was approved "at all stages of the clemency process." It is also reported that the Suffolk County District Attorney and the sentencing judge did not oppose his release. Prospect may, however, be returned to prison if he violates the terms of his parole.

The Governor said :
“While Wayne Prospect’s actions violated the public trust, I do not believe he poses a threat to society. I remain firmly committed to protecting public safety and to ensuring the integrity of public officials by continuing efforts to fight crime. However, we must also recognize that in certain exceptional and compelling circumstances, fundamental considerations of compassion and mercy warrant a grant of extraordinary relief.”

See story here.

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