Judy Clark, an activist with a long-standing history in the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s, has spent 36 years in prison for her role as an unarmed getaway driver in a 1981 robbery during which two police officers and a security guard were killed. Judy has publicly renounced her crime, issued a public apology to the victims, and has implemented her remorse through her work with young mothers in the prison nursery, raising service dogs for veterans and law enforcement, and promoting transformation through higher education inside. The former Superintendent of her prison said, “I watched Ms. Clark change into one of the most perceptive, thoughtful, helpful, and profound human beings I have ever known.”
On December 31, 2016, Governor Cuomo noted her “exceptional strides in self-development” and granted her clemency, making her eligible for immediate parole. But, despite Judy meeting all of the criteria for parole, the Parole Board denied Judy parole in 2017. However, in April 2018, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that the Parole Board’s decision was arbitrary and capricious, and ordered that Judy have a new and fair hearing by June 2018. The Attorney General appealed the court’s decision. On appeal, the New York Appellate Division found that the Parole Board acted wrongfully, focusing on its failure to provide Judy with access to key documents, and ordered the Parole Board’s Appeals Unit hold a new administrative appeal hearing. Judy is still waiting to find out how this appeal will be resolved.
Judy will have another parole hearing in April 2019. If you would like to help Judy, here are three simple steps you can take.