New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo granted clemency to 21 people on Christmas Eve, including two women convicted of killing their abusive partners and a 70-year-old Vietnam War veteran convicted of second-degree murder in the 1980s.

"In New York, we believe the law should be just, as well as compassionate," Cuomo said in a statement Thursday. "Government is uniquely situated to harness the power of redemption, encourage those who have committed crimes to engage in meaningful rehabilitation and help those individuals work toward a better future for themselves and others."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo waves to members of New York state's Electoral College before voting for president and vice president in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y., Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, Pool)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo waves to members of New York state’s Electoral College before voting for president and vice president in the Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol in Albany, N.Y., Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, Pool)

Maria Ordonez, 26, was convicted of manslaughter in 2018 for killing her abusive boyfriend six years ago, according to Cuomo’s office. But he was "beating and choking her" at the time, and she has completed vocational training and college courses while in prison. Her sentence had three years remaining on it before the commutation.

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Theresa Debo, 64, has maintained for more than a decade that she killed her abusive partner in self-defense. She had no prior criminal history before her 2006 conviction of second-degree murder and has spent her time in prison training in hospice and animal care programs. She served 16 years of her 22 years to life imprisonment sentence. The remainder has been commuted.

Arnold Raimondo is a 70-year-old Vietnam War veteran who enlisted at 17 and developed Post-traumatic  stress disorder (PTSD). He has served 39 years of a 50-year to life sentence for two counts of second-degree murder in 1983.

While incarcerated, Cuomo’s office said Raimondo has become an advocate for imprisoned veterans with PTSD and has lived on "the honor block" for more than decade.

In all, the governor granted full pardons for 14 people convicted of mostly nonviolent crimes, many of them related to drug charges, and commuted the sentences of seven violent offenders.

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Cuomo said the recipients had all demonstrated "remorse, rehabilitation and commitment to their communities."

Cuomo rarely uses his powers to grant clemency, according to the New York-based Gothamist. In the last four years, he’s been petitioned more than 6,400 times, the outlet reported, and granted less than 100 of those, including just 14 commutations, not including the most recent seven.

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