Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended for parole convicted murderer and member of terrorist organization Weather Underground David Gilbert on his last day in office Monday.
Gilbert, one of six individuals who received clemency from Cuomo, was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder in 1983 and four counts of first-degree robbery for his participation in the 1981 Brink’s truck robbery. Two police officers and a security guard died during the robbery, during which Gilbert and his co-conspirators stole $1.6 million from the armored vehicle.
“The rulers, the rich, and their armed mercenaries are the only lives valued by this court. We say that if they sentence us to 1,000 years or shoot us at dawn tomorrow, it will not save this social system,” Gilbert said at sentencing.
Gilbert will not immediately be released from prison, but will appear before the New York State Parole Board with the support of the former governor. Gilbert’s son, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, had lobbied for his father’s release from prison as recently as February 2021. Boudin’s mother, Kathy Boudin, also participated in the robbery. She was released from prison in 2003. (RELATED: San Francisco DA Says His Father, Convicted Murderer And Former Member Of Terrorist Group, Should Get Out Of Prison)
“The march towards a more fair, more just, more equitable, and more empathetic New York State is a long one, but every step forward we can take it worthwhile and important,” Cuomo said in a statement. “These clemencies make clear the power of redemption, encourage those who have made mistakes to engage in meaningful rehabilitation, and show New Yorkers that we can work toward a better future. I thank all the volunteer attorneys representing clemency applicants for their dedication and service to justice.”
I am granting clemency to 6 people.
These individuals have shown remorse, rehabilitation and commitment to their communities.
I thank all the volunteer attorneys representing clemency applicants for their dedication and service to justice. pic.twitter.com/iotA77BzzC
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 23, 2021
The statement described Gilbert as making “significant contributions to AIDS education and prevention programs” while in prison. “He has also worked as a student tutor, law library clerk, paralegal assistant, a teacher’s aide, and an aide for various additional facility programs.”
Presidents and governors often grant clemency or pardons before they leave office. Cuomo’s resignation will be effective Aug. 24. A report from state Attorney General Letitia James concluded that he sexually harassed at least 11 women, including his own assistants and a police officer assigned to his protection detail. He has denied the allegations and characterized the report as politically biased.