The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, who will leave office at the end of this month after having resigned, reported this Tuesday of the pardons granted to 10 prisoners, six of them Latino, because they have shown “remorse, rehabilitation and commitment to their communities “.
“One of the fundamental promises of the State of New York is equal justice and the same compassion for all under the law,” he said in a statement.
“Today I am proud to help fulfill the unique responsibility of the Government to harness the power of redemption, to encourage those who have made mistakes to participate in meaningful rehabilitation, and to empower all to work for a better future for themselves and their families.” added the Democrat.
According to the statement, Cuomo commuted the sentence to Jon Adrián Velásquez, who has served 23 of the 25 years he was sentenced in 1999 for second degree murder and attempted murder, robbery and attempted robbery.
After entering prison in 1998, Velásquez, 45, enrolled in a college program through Hudson Link and earned an associate’s degree in 2012 and a bachelor’s degree in 2014, graduating with honor and being recognized for his academic achievement and community service.
He continues to work with Hudson Link to help run his undergraduate program at Sing Sing, and since graduation he has served as a professor at Columbia University, the statement noted.
In 2013, he helped establish “Voices from Within,” an educational initiative that combats gun violence through the voices of incarcerated people.
The program has been used by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and the New York City Police Department, as well as the Probation Department, as an educational tool.
He also founded “Forgotten Voices,” an initiative to bridge the policy-making gap between incarcerated people, Department of Correction administrators, and the public.
When he is released, he will work to expand programs such as “Voices from Within” that he also developed while incarcerated.
Cuomo also commuted the sentence of 60-year-old George Martinez, who after being jailed for robbery and attempted robbery, criminal possession of stolen property, and attempted criminal possession of a weapon, finished high school and has become a very successful cook. respected.
Upon his release, he will live with his son and continue his work in food services.
Likewise, the governor granted forgiveness of their sentence to immigrants Ivelisse Castillo, 60; Miriam Ordóñez (40) and Catherine Valdez (35), all of them mothers, and also Jorge Quiñones (47), which will allow them to remain living in the United States, the statement also indicates.
Their convictions were generally for attempted possession or sale of controlled substances, and for theft. EFE News