Judith Clark, who has been serving a 75-year-to-life sentence for her role in the fatal 1981 Brinks truck robbery in which a two police officers and a security guard were killed, had her appeal for parole denied last night, despite Governor Cuomo commuting her sentence earlier last year.
The three-person New York State Parole Board unanimously agreed that Clark, a former member of the Weather Underground, shouldn't be granted parole according to Post, because the nature of her crime outweighed the good she did in her 35 years in prison. "We do find that your release at this time is incompatible with the welfare of society. . . .You are still a symbol of violent and terroristic crime," the three parole board members told Clark according to the paper.
A spokesperson for Governor Cuomo said that "Judith Clark deserved the opportunity to make her case for parole based on her extensive prison programming, her perfect disciplinary record while incarcerated, and impressive self-development over the past 35 years," but that his office respected the parole board's decision according to the Times. The paper also noted that the governor brought up his decision to commute Clark's sentence at Jimmy Breslin's funeral, telling the gathered crowd at the memorial that he could hear Breslin's voice telling him "She made a mistake — we all do. She learned, she paid the price."
Clark's daughter, Harriet, criticized the parole board's decision according to the Times. "My mother did not kill anyone, and it’s hard for me to understand who is served by making her die in prison, which is what decisions like this eventually amount to" she said. Clark's next chance for parole will come in 2019.
Despite the fact that Clark was by all accounts a model prisoner who earned both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees, served as a college tutor and started an HIV/AIDS education program all behind bars, Cuomo's decision to commute her sentence to allow her to apply for parole was harshly criticized by law enforcement, state Republicans and the family of the three men killed by Clark's accomplices.
"I want her to stay there for the rest of her life. My husband is in the ground and she’s going to get out? She doesn’t deserve it," Josephine Paige, the widow of slain security guard Peter Paige told the Post.