By Richard Johnson
November 29, 2015
Judith Clark is taken into police custody in October 21, 1981.
Supporters of Judith Clark — including myself — are hoping Gov. Cuomo will finally grant clemency to the former Weather Underground radical who has been imprisoned since 1981 for her role in the Brink’s armored car robbery in which two officers and a guard were killed.
I met Clark, 66, at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility earlier this year with Democratic activist Allen Roskoff, a frequent visitor who has organized vigils for mercy outside Cuomo’s Mount Kisco, NY, home.
The soft-spoken, grandmotherly Clark was repentant, telling me, “I can never undo my crime.” But she hopes she won’t die in prison.
Other supporters who have visited Clark include Steve Buscemi, Glenn Close, Jessica Walter, Ron Leibman, Debra Winger, Eve Ensler, Kathleen Chalfant, Kathryn Erbe and Lee Grant.
“The holidays are the time of year when governors and presidents grant pardons — but more often to turkeys than to people,” Roskoff said. Cuomo has commuted the sentences of just two prison inmates in his nearly five years in office.
“Judith has proven over her 35 years behind bars to be the poster child for redemption and rehabilitation, and worthy of this governor’s compassion,” Roskoff said.
There is a fairness argument as well. Fellow Brink’s getaway driver Kathy Boudin was released 12 years ago and now teaches at Columbia University.
Roskoff said, “The clemency issue is the best proxy of our time to judge the essence of a political official.”