In one of his last acts as New York governor, Andrew Cuomo granted a referral for a parole hearing for convicted 1981 Brink’s truck robbery killer David Gilbert, a Weather Underground domestic terror group member.
The families of the Brink’s victims lashed out at Cuomo’s decision.
“I think it’s an atrocity,” Mary Crowley, the sister of slain Nyack police Sgt. Edward O’Grady, told the New York Post. “I think it was his final nod to how he feels about the people of New York.”
Rockland County Commissioner of Human Rights Constance Frazier, a cousin of slain Nyack Police Officer Waverly “Chipper” Brown, told the Post his “family is devastated.”
“Chippy is never coming back,” Frazier said. “O’Grady is never coming back. [Slain Brink’s guard Peter] Paige is never coming back, but everybody that is responsible is somehow finding a way to walk.”
Gilbert was convicted of three counts second-degree murder and four counts of first-degree robbery resulting from the attempted heist of $1.6 million from a Brink’s armored car in October 1981, the Post reported.
The crime resulted in a shootout on the New York State Thruway in which O’Grady, Brown and Paige were killed.
Gilbert, 76, was serving 75 years to life in prison without the possibility of parole until 2056, the Post reported.
Cuomo’s referral could now give Gilbert a chance to get out of prison well before then.
It was one of several pardons, commutations and clemency the disgraced governor issued out on his last days in office, including several other convicted murderers, the Post report said.
Gilbert’s story, however, has a bit of a rabbit hole to dive into.
One of the players lobbying Cuomo on Gilbert’s behalf was San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who is Gilbert’s son with Kathy Boudin, who also took part in the attempted holdup.
Kathy Boudin pleaded guilty for her role in the heist and won parole in 2003 in her third attempt.
Chesa, now 40, was just 14 months old at the time and was dropped off at a babysitter as his parents went to commit the robbery with other Weather Underground members.
According to a USA Today publication, LoHud.com, Chesa Boudin, while running for district attorney, recounted visiting his parents in prison when he was a child.
As the city’s district attorney, Boudin’s platform consisted of bail reform, ending cash bail so that poor people would not be held for prosecution, while suspects with greater financial resources would be free until their trial.
His platform also includes giving crime victims more of a voice in getting justice, even meeting with the perpetrators of the crimes, the article said.
“[My father] taught me that we are all more than our worst mistakes,” Boudin said as he was sworn into office in January 2020. “Thank you for teaching me about forgiveness and redemption.”