Count Gov. Cuomo as another gullible bleeding heart taken in by a onetime domestic terrorist’s claims to have “transformed” herself. On New Year’s Eve, the governor commuted the sentence of Judith Clark, getaway driver in the 1981 Brinks robbery, which saw three heroes gunned down in cold blood by Weather Underground radicals.
That means she’ll be eligible for parole in the next few months — 39 years ahead of schedule. Relatives of the three victims — Nyack PD Sgt. Edward O’Grady, Officer Waverly Jones and Brinks security guard Peter Paige — received no advance notice of Cuomo’s unconscionable action.
They’re furious — and with good reason. Cuomo on Tuesday defended his decision, portraying Clark as having been merely a “ accessory” who “did not pull a trigger. ” What utter nonsense.
As former FBI agent Kenneth Maxwell noted on these pages Sunday, Clark — then 32 — was a “committed domestic terrorist” who played “an integral role” in planning and executing the deadly robbery. She was reaching under the car seat for a loaded 9mm semiautomatic when she was captured. Meaning: She was stopped from bringing the death toll even higher.
After demanding — and winning — the right to represent herself at trial, she boycotted the proceedings, refusing to recognize the court’s authority. Yes, the other female revolutionaries convicted in the Brinks job were set free years ago, thanks to an equally gullible parole board and full pardons from Bill Clinton. But the fact they were wrongly turned loose is no reason for another miscarriage of justice.
While behind bars, Clark has gotten a college education, courtesy of the taxpayers, and been worshipped by the news media for “turning her life around. ” Cuomo says “35 years is a long time” to serve behind bars. It’s an equally long time for the O’Grady, Jones and Paige families to live without their loved ones — who’ll never get a chance to improve their lives.
Yes, it’s nice that Judith Clark counsels her fellow inmates. Sounds like she’s precisely where she can best serve society..