On Cuomo’s way out he decided to grant ten people in prison clemency on Thursday.
Five of these were commutations.
His commutations included 36-year-old Nehru Gumbs, who was serving a 25 year sentence for manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon from when he was 18.
While in prison, Gumbs has been a Youth Counselor in Sing Sing, earned his Associates Degree in science, and is currently taking vocational classes as well as enrolled in a 4-year program through Mercy College.
Jon-Adrian Velasquez, 45, received a commuted sentence after serving 23.5 years of his 25 to life sentence for murder, attempted murder, and attempted robbery.
Velasquez has earned an Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree through Hudson Link and continues to work with the program that brings education into prisons in New York.
He also created “Voices From Within” which works to educate on and combat the issues of gun violence through people in prison.
George Martinez, 60, received a commuted sentence following the completion of 15 years of his 17 and a half to life sentence for second degree burglary and attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
Martinez has earned his GED and volunteers to cook for different events through the state.
Dontie Mitchell, 41, was given a commuted sentence following the 24.5 years he’s served out of his 27-54 year sentence for first degree robbery, criminal use of a fire arm, attempt to possess or make dangerous contraband in prison, and grand larceny.
Mitchell focused his efforts in prison on helping men who had no role models, earning his GED and Associate’s degree, tutoring, and being involved in various prison programs.
Richard “Lee” Chalk, 63, received a commuted sentence after serving 33 of his 50 to life sentence for two counts of second degree murder, two counts of first degree robbery, two counts of first degree burglary, and second degree criminal possession of a weapon in 1988.
Chalk has earned many certificates including legal research, food service, sighted guide training, and the Fatherhood & Family Law Program.
As for pardons, Cuomo also granted five in total.
James Pamphile, 44, has been pardoned for first degree bail jumping and first degree attempted assault in 2013, and third degree assault in 2011.
Pamphile had a childhood of physical and mental abuse in Haiti by family for his sexual orientation, and has remained free of any other crime for 8 years as well as becoming a successful dancer.
Ivelisse Castillo, 60, was charged with third degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in 2001 and has remained free of crime for 19 years. She volunteers at the community garden, nursing home, a rehab center, and her church.
Jorge Quinones, 47, received a pardon for third degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in 1996. He has since earned a Master’s Certificate in computer engineering and has a career in cybersecurity.
Miriam Ordonez, 40, has received a pardon for third degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in 1999. At the time she worked out of a coffee shop for a drug dealer that intentionally sought out undocumented children to work for him.
Catherine Valdez, 35, will receive a pardon for second degree attempted robbery in 2002 at 16 years old. She has since earned her Personal Care Assistant certificate and is working for her Home Health Aide certification.
Everyone who received a pardon will be able to use it to remain in the United States.
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