|Prison activists plan protest Saturday outside residence of Sandra Lee and Cuomo.|
|Text of press release.|
Candles for Clemency
c/o Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
450 West 17th Street, Suite 2405
New York, NY 10011
For Your Immediate Attention
For Further Information Contact:
Allen Roskoff: 917-553-7180
New York Religious Leaders, Prison Reform Advocates and Democratic Party
Political Activists to Picket Governor Cuomo’s Mt. Kisco Residence this Saturday
to Protest “Heartless” Refusal to Grant Clemency Petitions
--Cuomo First Governor in Decades to Refuse to Grant Clemency
to Anyone Imprisoned in New York State--
On Saturday, September 6, more than a hundred New Yorkers will assemble at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s residence in Mt. Kisco to assail the Governor’s startling lack of compassion in failing to grant clemency to even one of the 55,000* men and women imprisoned in New York State.
Under the banner of the ad hoc coalition Candles for Clemency a cross-section of New Yorkers will shine a light on the Governor’s lack of mercy and appeal to him to use his power to rectify mistakes made by the criminal justice system. A march, rally and candlelight vigil will be held.
“Cuomo’s heartlessness and lack of mercy further tarnishes New York State’s criminal justice system,” said former State Supreme Court Judge Emily Jane Goodman, “Former New York Governor Hugh Carey signed 155 clemencies, while in California then-Governor Ronald Reagan granted clemency to 575 inmates who he concluded had been wrongly imprisoned or otherwise served sufficient time in relation to the crimes they purportedly committed. A Governor, like a President, has a duty to consider and grant clemency to women and men who languish in our prisons long after they have served their time and paid what any civilized society would consider their debt."
“With public concern rising about abuses in the criminal justice system the Governor’s failure to conclude that even one prisoner deserves clemency is astonishing,” said Robert Dennison, retired Chairman, New York State Board of Parole.
"Only a governor with a heart of stone would refuse to grant deserved clemencies and show mercy to those who have served their time and have shown genuine remorse. The prison system in a civilized society must be about more then retribution and punishment. It needs to also be about redemption and hope. I plead with the governor to allow those worthy of clemency the chance to begin a new life and allow them to return to their families and loved ones and allow them to become productive members of society. “ said Father Ron Lemmert, Retired New York State Prison Chaplain.
In addition to neighbors and nearby residents, some protesters will be arriving from other communities across New York State. Participants include Kathryn Erbe from Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Catherine Curtin and Joel Marsh Garland from Orange Is The New Black.
What: March, Rally and Candlelight Vigil to protest Governor Andrew Cuomo’s callousness in refusing to grant clemency.
Where: Gather at the intersection of Crow Hill Road and Millwood Road (State Route 133) in Mt. Kisco, NY
When: 7:00 PM Saturday, September 6, 2014
Who: Criminal Justice reformers, civil rights leaders, civil libertarians, Democratic Party activists, community and religious leaders. [NB: Candles for Clemency is not affiliated with and does not support any candidate for elected office.]
*As of January 2013, the most recent data available. During his term in office, cumulatively many more people have been imprisoned for some period of time.