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Cuomo grants 10 prisoners clemency

Aug 18, 2021 12:45 pm

Joshua Solomon reports in the Times Union that Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced clemency for ten people currently in New York prisons, in one of his last acts as head of the state. "Today I'm proud to help fulfill government's unique responsibility to harness the power of redemption, encourage those who have made mistakes to engage in meaningful rehabilitation, and empower everyone to work toward a better future for themselves and their families," Cuomo said in a press release. The announcement rankled prisoner rights advocates, who said Cuomo was not doing enough, and previously complained he should have been releasing more prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic. "While we celebrate their return home, we know thousands of others also deserve their freedom," Jose Hamza Saldaña, director of the advocacy group Release Aging People in Prison, said in its press release. "Cuomo must continue to take action in his remaining days in office by granting far more clemencies to the many incarcerated New Yorkers who can be safely released today to rejoin their families and serve their communities." The New York Post, meanwhile, found several conservative commentators willing to attack Cuomo's clemencies from the other side. “It would have been nice of Governor Cuomo to grant clemency to over 15,000 seniors and the developmentally disabled who suffered and died of COVID for the simple crime of being elderly and vulnerable,” said Vivian Zayas, co-founder of VoicesForSeniors. Cuomo also pardoned five of the clemencies, so those now former prisoners will not be deported. Cuomo last week announced his resignation for Aug. 24, after 11 allegations of sexual harassment. Read more about this story in the Times Union.