Saturday, December 31, 2016

New York: 101 Conditional Pardons, 5 Pardons, 7 Commutations

The New York Daily News reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo "wound down the year" on Friday by:
... commuting the jail sentences of seven felons, including the getaway driver in an infamous armored car robbery that left two cops and a security guard dead. Cuomo also pardoned five others and granted conditional pardons to 101 additional offenders who were convicted of non-violent crimes as minors and have maintained clean records for at least 10 years. 
The conditional pardons will be erased if recipients are convicted of another crime. With respect to the commutations:
Among the most notable of those granted clemency Friday was 67-year-old Judith Clark, who was among a group of radicals [that] staged a daring, daylight robbery of a Brinks armored car at the Nanuet Mall in Rockland County in October of 1981. A Brinks security guard was killed at the mall and two Nyack police officers were shot after the group was cornered by cops at a nearby Thruway exit. “If anyone is worthy of mercy, we believe Judy Clark is,” her attorney Steven Zeidman told the Daily News. "She is aware that this news will be painful and difficult to those who lost loved ones in the Brinks robbery,” Zeidman said. “The question becomes how much punishment is enough.” Clark [would] not have been eligible for parole until she was 106. Cuomo’s order allows her to immediately seek a hearing before the Parole Board.
Law enforcement officials vehemently opposed efforts to grant Clark clemency and promise to "press the Parole Board to keep Clark in jail." The Cuomo administration notes she:
... has, among other things, earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Mercy College, taught pre-natal parenting courses, founded an HIV/AIDS education program, and trained service dogs in the Puppies Behind Bars program. 
See story here.

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