Osborne Statement on the Decision to Release Judith Clark

17 April 2019

Today, the New York State Parole Board announced their decision to release Judy Clark. We commend their decision and the decision of Governor Andrew Cuomo to commute her sentence in 2016 to make her eligible for parole.

The Parole Board updated their governing regulations in 2017 to require release decisions to consider an individual’s actual current risk to public safety and evidence of rehabilitation and remorse, thereby rejecting the notion that people can be denied parole based solely on the crime that led them to prison.

This policy, and New York's ongoing effort to effectively and safely reduce the prison population, takes into account the enormous human and financial cost of perpetual punishment, the wishes of many in the victim's rights community to be offered more than mere retribution, and people's fundamental capacity to transform their lives. 

Judy Clark has consistently expressed and lived her regret and remorse during her 37 years of incarceration. She used her time in prison to promote peace and healing and work towards repairing the harm she has caused. Now, about to turn 70, she will return to the community as a true asset who can further our state's expressed goal of a smaller, safer, and more just criminal justice system. 

Osborne is joined by the following individuals and organizations in support of this decision:
Jeremy Benjamin
The Bronx Defenders
Brooklyn Defender Services
Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES)
Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)
College and Community Fellowship
Committee on Civil Rights of the New York State Bar Association?
Criminal Defense Clinic Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
The Fortune Society
Betsy Ginsberg, Director, Civil Rights Clinic and Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Hour Children
Legal Action Center
Carlin Meyer, Professor Emeritus, New York Law School
New Hour for Women & Children LI
New York Civil Liberties Union
NYSACDL (New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers)
NoVo Foundation
Jonathan Oberman, Clinical Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY
Reentry Rocks
Alexander A. Reinert, Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Release Aging People in Prison Campaign (RAPP)
STEPS to End Family Violence
Women & Justice Project
The Women's Building
Women's Prison Association
Ellen C. Yaroshefsky, Director, Monroe Freedman Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics, Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law

‡ Represents the view of the Committee on Civil Rights and not those of the New York State Bar Association.

† Institutional affiliation provided for purposes of identification only.

If you would like to add your or your organization's name to this letter, please email jstenger@osborneny.org.