A driver in a deadly armored truck robbery in 1981 was included in the six people who received clemency from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who vacated office on Monday.
A top prosecutor from San Francisco, District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who is also the driver’s son, defended his release.
76-year-old David Gilbert is ruled to serve a life sentence for his alleged involvement in a robbery case where two lives and $1.6 million were lost.
According to the governor’s office, the driver will be referred to the state parole board for a possible release because of the clemency.
Lawyer Steve Zeidman who led the clemency campaign for Gilbert expressed his joy for Gilbert and his family.
“David has an opportunity to make his case to the board, an opportunity to live outside the prison walls,” said Zeidman, who also works as a co-director of the Defenders Clinic at the City University of New York’s Law School.
Zeidman said that four other individuals whose sentences were altered because of Cuomo’s action are also part of the clinic. A total of 143 years of imprisonment were rendered by the men who were charged of murder.
Apart from Gilbert, a private equity fund manager Lawrence Penn was also pardoned on Monday. Penn has spent a couple of years behind bars for fabricating business records connected with suspicions that he fled with a massive amount of money from investors.
The governor also granted clemency to 10 people last week. Among them are Jon-Adrian Velazquez who was defended by actor Martin Sheen.
The battle for Gilbert’s release became popular as his son, Boudin, campaigned for San Francisco District Attorney last year. Boudin was just 14 months old when Gilbert was put behind bars.
Paying his parents, Kathy Boudin and Gilbert, in prison became Boudin’s evidence of the failures on how the criminal justice system works, making him start a progressive campaign, KRON4 reported.
Even behind bars, Gilbert has made notable efforts to programs on AIDS education, Cuomo’s office said through a news release. He also served as a tutor, teacher’s aide, law library clerk, and paralegal assistant.