Why is Judy Clark in prison?
From Judy’s Sworn Statement:
I was arrested on Oct. 20, 1981, after I participated in an attempted robbery of a Brinks truck in Nyack, New York. Peter Paige, a Brinks guard, and two policemen, Waverly Brown and Edward O’Grady were killed during the robbery, and others were injured. Accused of being one of the “getaway drivers,” I was indicted on three counts of second-degree murder. I was not represented by counsel during voir-dire and at the trial itself. Instead, I represented myself and refused to participate in the proceedings, absenting myself from the courtroom for virtually the entire trial. I was found guilty and sentenced to three consecutive terms of 25 years to life.
Find the full text in her affidavit.
What was Judy’s role in the armed robbery?
She was sitting in a get-away car. She was neither a shooter nor a robber.
Why did she get a sentence of 75-years-to-life when some of her co-defendants received considerably shorter sentences?
Most of those who faced charges were either tried in Federal court and received shorter sentences, pled guilty, or became government informants. Judy, in her single-minded fanaticism and ill-conceived defiance, used her trial to demonstrate what she called “solidarity with anti-imperialist freedom fighters.” She did nothing to mount a legal defense. In New York State, each participant in a felony during which a death occurs, regardless of the extent of their participation or intent, is charged with second-degree murder. She was convicted of three counts of felony murder, for which the judge chose to sentence her to three consecutive 25-year-to-life terms rather than three concurrent terms. Despite having been convicted of a secondary role, she was given the maximum possible sentence, longer than most of those accused of being the shooters.
Where is she now?
She has been incarcerated at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, the New York State maximum security correctional facility for women, since 1983. She is now nearly 64 years old and not eligible for parole until 2056. In other words, she has a life sentence.
Why should Judy be freed?
Judy is a respected elder in the prison, by both prisoners and staff alike. She has helped countless prisoners transform their lives, and she has inspired and taught numerous educators and professionals who work with at-risk communities. All who have benefited from Judy’s wisdom and example, as well as close to 1,000 New Yorkers who either know Judy personally or have been affected by her work, think it’s time for Judy to join them on the outside. It’s only just and fair.