NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has decided to use his final days in office to commute the sentences of 10 felons, including three that are tied to murder cases. He should be on an apology tour for the thousands of nursing home deaths his policies caused in the state, but that would require contrition, an unfamiliar behavior for gangsters like Cuomo.
The recently scandal-ridden governor made the announcement on Tuesday, citing a desire to use his authority “to harness the power of redemption,” and to “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.”
Also on Tuesday, the 63-year old filed for his $50,000-per-year pension; money that would go a lot further in a state other than New York, but like Hyman Roth in “The Godfather II,” who’s going to have him?
He went on to profess, “These ten clemencies are another step on the long march towards a more fair, more just, more equitable, and more empathetic New York.”
Of the three commutations/pardons that were tied to murders, the Daily Mail wrote:
Nehru Gumbs, 36, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon and assault in 2005 – crimes committed when he was 18.
Jon-Adrian Velazquez, 45, was convicted of second-degree murder and attempted murder, plus three counts of robbery, in 1999.
Velazquez was sentenced in the shooting death of retired police officer Albert Ward at an illegal gambling hall in Harlem in 1998 – despite no DNA evidence connecting him to the crime, and conviction resting on eyewitness identification.
His case has been championed since 2011 by actor Martin Sheen.
The West Wing star learnt of the inmate’s plight from his well-connected lawyer, Robert Gottlieb.
Sheen visited Velazquez in prison, and the encounter ‘confirmed my belief that he is an innocent man,’ he told a Manhattan press conference.
‘I came away inspired. He is a young man on fire with the truth.’
The third person whose sentence Cuomo commuted was Richard ‘Lee’ Chalk, 63, who was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of robbery and two counts of burglary, and criminal possession of a weapon in 1988.
Five of the pardons were granted to immigrants – of unspecified legal status – for sentences that resulted from attempted robbery or assault, as well as small-time drug offenses that are decades old. They will all be allowed to remain in the U.S. upon commutation.
“One of the foundational promises of New York State is that of equal justice, and equal compassion, for all under the law,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo will be replaced in the interim by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. She will be the first woman ever to run the state of NY, a rather fitting end to the governor’s tenure considering the sexual harassment charges leveled against him.
“He is not believed to own any property, but benefits from both his federal pension as a member of Bill Clinton’s Cabinet, serving as Housing Secretary, and from his state pension,” wrote the outlet.
Two unnamed New York politicians have proposed a bill that would revoke pension availability from any impeached governor. However, the slippery governor beat them to the punch and resigned before he could be impeached.
After an outcry, the state’s Assembly moved forward with impeachment proceedings on Monday, purely for principle as they would have no power to convict or remove Cuomo from office because he would have already stepped down.
Real piece of work, that guy.
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