Governor Andrew Cuomo has granted conditional pardons to over 100 New Yorkers who were convicted of non-violent crimes as minors, a move he promised to make back in December 2015. New York and North Carolina are the only two states in the country in which 16 and 17-year-olds are prosecuted as adults, despite Cuomo's support of the "Raise the Age" initiative that would raise the age of criminal majority to 18—that initiative was held up by Republicans in Albany, and the pardons, granted on Friday, are the first round of executive action to sidestep those legislators.

The 101 conditional pardons were issued to individuals convicted of a misdemeanor or non-violent felony at age 16 or 17 who have lived crime free for 10 years or more; they are all New York residents, pay taxes, and are "a productive member of his or her community, meaning that the individual is working, looking for work, in school or legitimately unable to work," per the pardon's conditions. Last year, New Yorkers who fit that description were invited to apply for pardons through the NY State government's website, and were summarily vetted—a press release from the governor's office adds that Cuomo's office has also been reaching out to residents that might fit the bill to invite them to apply for the pardon. Cuomo's office has estimated that as many as 10,000 New Yorkers would qualify for official pardons under the outlined conditions.

The pardons will allow formerly incarcerated minors to have access to housing, education, employment, and other opportunities hampered by a criminal conviction. "These New Yorkers have spent at least a decade proving their rehabilitation, but have been unable to fully reenter society due to the stigma of conviction and the barriers that come with it," Cuomo said in a statement. "New York is a state of opportunity and today, we are granting these individuals and others a second chance to live up to their full potential, provide for their families and give back to their communities. With these actions, we have taken one more step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York for all."

Cuomo also issued five pardons, five sentence commutations and commuted two individual sentences, including that of Judith Clark, who drove a getaway car for a botched 1981 Rockland County Brinks robbery that left two police officers and an armored-car guard dead.