It was an unusual move for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to give two weeks’ notice while stepping down in disgrace. However, his recent actions make it that much worse.
Cuomo has pardoned or granted clemency to 10 convicts, some of whom were convicted of violent offenses, according to the New York Post. The Democratic governor announced he was stepping down amid credible accusations of sexual misconduct.
NEW: With less than a week left in office, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued five pardons and commuted five sentences today, per his office. pic.twitter.com/kexx8hNaxc
— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) August 17, 2021
“One of the foundational promises of New York state is that of equal justice, and equal compassion, for all under the law,” Cuomo said “Today I’m proud to help fulfill government’s unique responsibility to harness the power of redemption, encourage those who have made mistakes to engage in meaningful rehabilitation, and empower everyone to work toward a better future for themselves and their families,” the three-term governor stated.
The “better future” Cuomo was so eager to give out went to men like 45-year-old Jon-Adrian Velasquez who was convicted of second-degree murder of a retired police officer among other crimes. He also commuted Nehru Gumb’s sentence, a man who gunned down an innocent bystander who was on his way home from church on New Year’s Eve 2004.
The pardons also ensure convicts in the country illegally will not be deported. Ivelisse Castillo, who is now 60, was pardoned meaning he won’t be deported for criminal drug possession conviction thanks to Cuomo.
While it’s true that they turned their lives around and are serving others now, Cuomo’s leniency has angered some. “Cuomo has been responsible for multiple cop killers, murderers, and rapists being released over his tenure,” Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) said. “Between his hand-picked parole board and botched bail law, his legacy will be a soaring crime rate and driving New Yorkers to lower taxed, more safe states. I guess it’s only appropriate that his reign end with the same disgrace it began with,” the lawmaker complained.
“Disgraced Governor Cuomo’s bail reform policy has ravaged our streets and violent crime is skyrocketing all over New York. Now, he is pardoning murderers and violent criminals,” New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, the House Republican chairwoman, said of Cuomo’s actions. “The Albany Democrats are complicit and won’t impeach him, an embarrassing shame to our great state. The only way to stop the madness is to vote in a RED WAVE in 2022,” she urged.
Cuomo is facing some credible accusations and has resigned. Though many before him have done the same, he gave two weeks’ notice — no doubt to provide special favors on his way out.