A liberal democratic club from New York City will hold a rally, march and candlelight vigil ending at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s house in New Castle Saturday to draw attention to Cuomo’s record on granting clemency.
Kathryn Erbe, the star of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” is slated to participate along with cast members of “Orange is the New Black.”
The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, which is backing Cuomo’s opponent in the Democratic primary next week, Zephyr Teachout, says the governor has granted no clemencies in his entire tenure. But there’s actually a twist to Cuomo’s record: the governor’s office announced three pardons at the end of 2013 for people who had completed their sentences but whose criminal convictions had affected their rights.
Allen Roskoff, the president of the club, which has its roots in the gay rights movement but works on many issues, said they picked the issue of clemency because they are a progressive organization that “cares about grave injustice.”
“We felt we could step forward and help in the struggle to help those facing such an injustice,” he said by email. “We have been involved with numerous issues involving human rights and economic equality.”
The governor’s office countered that Cuomo has taken many steps to reduce the state prison population and make the system more fair, including improving training for ex-prisoners, creating a council to tackle the problem of obstacles to community reentry and improving the handling of young offenders and other vulnerable groups.
The protest, named Candles for Clemency, will start at Crow Hill Road and Millwood Road and a candlelight procession will head to Cuomo’s home on Bittersweet Lane. It starts at 7 p.m. and will go to about 10 p.m.