Judith Clark, former Weather Underground member who nearly four decades in prison for her role in the deadly 1981 robbery of an armored truck in New York, was granted parole on Wednesday.
The $1.6 million Brink’s robbery in a suburb of Nanuet (new york), led to the shooting death of two police officers and a security guard. Clark, now 69, was initially sentenced to 75 years to life behind bars for serving as the getaway driver, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo turned her sentence in 2016, making them eligible for early release.
Cuomo praised Clark’s behavior as an inmate when he turned her way. She has trained service dogs, founder of an AIDS awareness program and advice to mothers in the prison.
However, the New York parole board denied Clark’s first request for release in 2017, saying: “she is still a symbol of the violent, terrorist crime.”
Clark, 69, presented statements of support from more than 2000 people at her parole hearing on April 3. Among those that her former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, the 11 members of the New York congressional delegation and Elaine Lord, former superintendent of Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, where Clark is locked up. A letter signed by more than 70 elected officials, said the prison system is for rehabilitation and punishment
Still, the families of the victims and a number of officials of the law enforcement against its release. The Rockland County District Attorney’s Office said the granting of Clark’s parole “would be a horrible travesty of justice and an affront to our criminal justice system.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.