chesa boudin

San Francisco DA's Father Granted Clemency by Outgoing NY Gov. Cuomo

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San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin's father received clemency Monday from outgoing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the governor's office said. 

David Gilbert, 76, has been in prison nearly all Boudin's life, Boudin tweeted Monday evening following the clemency.

"My heart is bursting," Boudin said, adding that it's the eve of his first child's birth. 

“He never intended harm, yet his crime devastated many families," Boudin said. "My heart breaks for the families that can never get their loved ones back."

According to Cuomo's office, Gilbert was convicted in 1983 of three counts of second-degree murder and four counts of first-degree robbery. 

“As I appreciate him wanting his father to be released, he should think long and hard about the families and the pain they had to endure for 40 years,” said Republican New York State Assemblyman Mike Lawler. "It was a disgusting final act on the part of the governor who commuted the sentence of David Gilbert.”

The president of San Francisco’s Police Officers Association agrees saying, “As Chesa Boudin continues to use his influence to lobby for his biological father’s release, the victims’ will continue to be haunted by their immense loss.”

Gilbert was sentenced to 75 years-to-life and has served 40 years. The governor's office said Gilbert and five others granted clemency by Cuomo have shown "substantial evidence of rehabilitation and a commitment to their communities." 

Gilbert was not the killer but the driver in the robbery of Nanuet National Bank in 1981, that left a Brink's armored car guard and two police officers dead, according to a New York State report related to terrorism. 

While in prison, Gilbert has made contributions to programs related to AIDS education and prevention and worked in roles including student tutor, law library clerk, paralegal assistant and among others as a teacher's aide.

The Parole Board will consider Gilbert's case and may grant him parole. Lawler says he plans to try and block his release.

"These clemencies make clear the power of redemption, encourage those who have made mistakes to engage in meaningful rehabilitation, and show New Yorkers that we can work toward a better future," Cuomo said in a statement.

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