Judy Clark spent almost 38 years in prison. Prior to being incarcerated, Judy was involved in the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1981, Judy was an unarmed getaway driver in a robbery during which two police officers and a security guard were killed. Since then, Judy has undergone a significant transformation. She has publicly renounced her crime, openly apologized to the victims, and in the words of the former Superintendent of Judy’s prison, changed “into one of the most perceptive, thoughtful, helpful, and profound human beings I have ever known.”
In late 2016, Governor Cuomo noted her “exceptional strides in self-development” and commuted her sentence, making her eligible for immediate parole. Despite meeting all of the legal criteria for parole, the Parole Board originally denied Judy release. The New York State Supreme Court ruled that the Parole Board had “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” by denying Judy parole in 2017.
On April 17, 2019, at her next hearing, Judy was granted parole. By this time, over 2,000 people had expressed their support for her, from NY State Senators and Congresspeople, to former District Attorneys and Parole Board Commissioners, as well as hundreds of people who have met Judy or been moved by her transformation.