San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin on Monday said his “heart was breaking” after former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo granted clemency to his father, a former member of the left-wing militant group Weather Underground, who is behind bars for her role. in an armed robbery in 1981 that left three people dead.
In one of his last acts as governor, Cuomo, who resigned after being charged with widespread sexual harassment and misconduct, granted David Gilbert, 76, was convicted of three counts of second degree murder and four counts of first degree theft in the 1983 theft of a Brinks armored car. Cuomo’s office said in a press release, which has since been deleted from the governor’s website, that Gilbert would be referred to the state parole board for potential release.
CUOMO COMMUTES 4 SENTENCES OF MURDER CONDEMNED IN LAST HOURS AS GOVERNOR
“He served 40 years of a 75-year life sentence, linked to an incident in which he was the driver and not the murderer,” the press release said. “During his incarceration, Mr. Gilbert made a significant contribution to AIDS education and prevention programs; he has also worked as a student tutor, law library clerk, paralegal assistant, teaching assistant and aide for various additional settlement programs.
Boudin, who was elected San Francisco District Attorney in 2019, was just 3 years old when his father went to jail. Her mother was also involved in the burglary and was jailed until 2003 after pleading guilty to murder and robbery.
“My heart is bursting”, Boudin tweeted Monday evening. “On the eve of the birth of my first child, my father – who has been in prison most of my life – was granted clemency. He never intended to harm, but his crime devastated many families . My heart breaks for families who can never get their loved ones back. “
“Me and my dad in one of our last precious moments of freedom together,” he wrote in another tweet, including a Photo of himself as a toddler with his father.
Cuomo had previously granted parole to fellow Weather Underground member Judith Clark, who was also involved in the 1981 robbery.
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Republican Assembly Member Mike Lawler, who represents Rockland County, where the robbery took place, criticized the governor’s announcement, calling him “a coward and a hideous human being” and apologizing to the families victims, which included two police officers and a security guard.
“Only a sociopath, like Andrew Cuomo, would think that David Gilbert, a man who participated in a heinous attack on law-abiding citizens and law enforcement, deserves to be eligible for parole,” a- he said in a statement. “When the book is written about Andrew Cuomo, in addition to stepping down in disgrace, his legacy will be a New York that freed unrepentant cop killers, child rapists, murderers and terrorists. My only hope is that when all is said and done, the last chapter finds him in a prison cell. “
Cuomo granted clemency to a total of six people on Monday before stepping down amid a cloud of scandals. Kathy Hochul was sworn in as New York’s first female governor shortly after the stroke of midnight on Tuesday.
“The march towards a fairer, more equitable, and more empathetic New York State is a long one, but every step forward we can take is worth it and is important,” Cuomo said in a thanksgiving statement. “These graces clarify the power of redemption, encourage those who have made mistakes to embark on meaningful rehabilitation, and show New Yorkers that we can work for a better future. I thank all of the volunteer lawyers representing the grace seekers for their dedication and service to Justice. “
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