New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo commuted the sentences of four people convicted of murder as one of his last acts as governor.
“The march towards a more fair, more just, more equitable, and more empathetic New York State is a long one, but every step forward we can take it [sic] worthwhile and important,” Cuomo said in a press release. “These clemencies make clear the power of redemption, encourage those who have made mistakes to engage in meaningful rehabilitation, and show New Yorkers that we can work toward a better future. I thank all the volunteer attorneys representing clemency applicants for their dedication and service to justice.”
Among the sentences commuted was that of 68-year old Greg Mingo, who was convicted of four counts of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He has served over 39 years of a 50-year-to-life prison sentence.
Three more individuals with second-degree murder convictions also saw their sentences commuted, including 66-year-old Ulysses Boyd and 59-year-old Paul Clark.
Additionally, 76-year old David Gilbert, who was convicted of second-degree murder and four counts of first-degree robbery in 1983, saw his case referred to the Parole Board.
Cuomo also granted a pardon to 51-year-old Lawrence Penn, who pled guilty to first-degree falsifying business records in 2015.
Among the reasons listed for the decisions were inmates’ work on AIDS education, academic achievements while incarcerated, and playing an active role in their community.
The decisions come as Cuomo’s resignation is set to take effect at 11:59pm Monday, with Gov. Kathy Hochul being sworn in as governor immediately afterwards.