Tripp Laino, 202-999-4273
NACDL/FAMM State Clemency Project welcomes handful of clemency grants and expresses disappointment in four years of missed opportunities by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
WASHINGTON – Yesterday evening, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo granted clemency to ten individuals. Five of the grantees had their sentences commuted, and five were pardoned. One of the recipients of a commutation was Nehru Gumbs, whose petition was supported by the NACDL/FAMM State Clemency Project.
The Project issued the following statement:
“We congratulate Mr. Gumbs, his counsel, and all of the recipients of clemency. And we express the deepest appreciation to hundreds of volunteers who have worked through the NACDL/FAMM State Clemency Project to secure commutations for deserving individuals. That said, the Project is extremely disappointed that this is the best that Governor Cuomo was able do, particularly as the bar mobilized at the Governor’s request to take on hundreds of cases pro bono. The sad result of the Governor’s failure to act on these petitions is that individuals seeking a second chance will instead continue to languish in New York State prisons.”
The NACDL/FAMM State Clemency Project, which is supported by the NACDL Foundation for Criminal Justice (NFCJ), was announced in August of 2017 to recruit, train, and provide resource support to pro bono attorneys to assist state prisoners to submit petitions to have their sentences commuted. In 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who called upon the bar to volunteer to help bring worthy cases to his attention, announced the partnership with the NACDL/FAMM State Clemency Project. Four years later, of more than 120 petitions submitted through the Project, Governor Cuomo has granted only five, though a number of applicants ultimately secured parole while their petitions were pending.
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies at the state and federal level and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.