Cuomo to Release Some Convicted of Nonviolent Crimes as Teens
Gov. Cuomo is preparing to give pardons to thousands of people who were convicted of nonviolent crimes as teenagers but have kept a clean record since then, according to a report.
Under the proposal, those who were found guilty of nonviolent felonies or misdemeanors at the ages of 16 or 17 can apply for a pardon as long as they meet certain criteria, The New York Times reports.
The idea is to remove obstacles for people who are trying to find employment.
“It’s a way to help people get on with their life,” Cuomo told the Times. “When you’re young you can make a mistake, and maybe you don’t have to carry the burden for your entire life.”
Cuomo’s administration believes there are some 10,000 people in the state who would immediately benefit from the initiative.
And as more people pass 10 years without a conviction, an estimated 350 people become eligible each year, according to the Times.
In October, Cuomo granted two sentence commutations and two pardons to four individuals while announcing a state partnership with organizations in the legal community to provide pro-bono services to those seeking clemency.
“Today we are taking a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York,” Cuomo said then.