EDIT-OPED

How Judy Clark earned freedom

NY Daily Newsmercredi 11 janvier 2017
Long Island City: We are dismayed by your Jan. 8 editorial "Judith Clark's clemency." The only reason Clark was given a 75-year sentence is because the sentencing judge thought she would never be rehabilitated. Clark proved him wrong and Gov. Cuomo's clemency corrects the judge's inability to imagine a rehabilitated Clark.
By referring to "well-connected advocates" you ignore the central feature of her clemency: Clark's remarkable achievements and transformation. While there are many people deserving of clemency, Clark's case is beyond compelling.
She is in her 36th year of incarceration, making her the fourth-longest-serving woman in New York State prisons. At 67, she is also among the oldest. Sentences like 75 years to life are usually meted out to those convicted of intentional murder, to use your words, "trigger-pullers," not to those like Clark, who was convicted of felony murder for her role as a getaway driver.
Further, while her personal growth is extraordinary, what sets Clark apart is the work she has done, in cooperation with prison administration, on behalf of others, whether it be developing an HIV/AIDS counseling program for women in prison or training service dogs for returning veterans, and her unequivocal expressions of remorse.
It is thus no surprise that people intimately familiar with the Department of Corrections and with Clark, like Elaine Lord, the former superintendent at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, and Robert Dennison, the former chairman of the Board of Parole, steadfastly support Clark's clemency.
Granting clemency to Judy Clark in the face of anticipated criticism like your editorial is an example of wise, merciful, courageous leadership that should be lauded. Sara Bennett, Esq. Prof. Steven Zeidman, CUNY School of Law
No parole for Clark
Staten Island: The proper punishment for Judith Clark should have been the death penalty. Clark was a participant in a robbery in which an armored car guard was killed. Later, when police attempted to stop the getaway vehicles, two police officers were shot and killed. Clark was seen reaching for a loaded pistol. She was lucky she was not shot dead. Clark belongs in jail for the rest of her life. Her lawyer states she has been punished enough. What about the families of Peter Paige, Sgt. Edward O'Grady and Police Officer Waverly Brown? Their loved ones will never see them again. Clark is still alive. Tom Lyons
Snow job
Bronx: I work for the Sanitation Department and am eagerly waiting to hear the backlash about the poor performance of my brothers and sisters in fighting the snow this winter. Critics will be right this time! The city revamped the snow removal process, and we're now following routes that computers and GPS devices have designed. We must follow the route in order. As a result, we do streets in directions we're not accustomed to, either incorrectly going up and down hills or making turns we cannot make in certain directions. The highways are operated by only one district now instead of three or four districts closer to the roadways, and other streets with two or three lanes will quite possibly have only one lane cleared with the way these routes are written. It's a system built to fail so the city can privatize many of these streets. Damn shame! Robert Cook
Streep's stripes
Levittown, L.I.: Meryl Streep, with style, grace and eloquence, cut Donald Trump to ribbons at the Golden Globes. She noted that many Globe winners came from other countries, or their families did. She said that if millions of people are deported, we won't have much of a country. She gave it good to the Presidentelect, aka the Creature From the Black Lagoon. Ben Calderone
Freedom is freedom
Richmond Hill: If rape is rape, how come free speech is not free speech for all? Ever since Donald Trump became a politician, he has spewed lies and crude insults left and right, with help of all media. When a class act like Meryl Streep stands up on stage and puts this riffraff in his place, we should all applaud and thank her. Robert Clolery
A crime against common sense
Brentwood, L.I.: The uproar over the comments by the 94th Precinct captain's comments about rape is further proof of how modern-day political correctness prevents honest conversation. Capt. Peter Rose never said he doesn't take rape seriously. He tried to reassure the community about the increase in rapes in the precinct by letting the community know the increase was from date rapes, not random street rapes. When a date rape occurs, the victim knows the rapist and the police can usually make a quick arrest, as opposed to a random rapist, who can be harder to find and a cause for greater fear and concern. How is making this distinction insensitive? There are many people today who are supersensitive and always looking to express their outrage even when it's not warranted, and the media seem all to happy to give them a platform. Anthony Johnson
Better Voicers, please
White Plains, N.Y.: I understand that you must and should include all points of view in the Voice of the People. What I don't understand is that from the hundreds of letters you receive daily, why you include letters that contain untruths, fallacies, falsehoods and deceptive and misleading opinions. Voicer Joseph Taormina states that we have teachers making more money than executives. Really? Which school district? And please tell this dear man that he can say whichever holiday salutation that he chooses. We still live in a free country and no one is forcing him to say "Happy Holidays." Some of us simply wish to be more inclusive in our holiday cheer and find no reason to continue to do things just because we always did it that way. Renee T. Brown
Class with class
Saugerties, N.Y.: A blue sweater with an orange letter. It's Commerce High School, Class of June 1949. Where did those 68 years go? For those of us still here, may the Good Lord watch over you and keep you safe. Louis Honecker
Nay Paris
Deerfield Beach, Fla.: Re "A oui bit rude" (Jan. 1): I went to Paris in 1975 and was horrified at how I was treated. Instead of a planned two-week stay, I lasted four days and fled to Amsterdam. When I went to the post office to place a call to relatives in Geneva, I was connected to someone in Brussels. Don't ask. The only good thing was the Louvre and taking pictures from the Eiffel Tower. Go to Glastonbury, England. A little piece of heaven on Earth. Anne J. Sumper
Yay Paris
Park City, Utah: I enjoy your paper a lot, but why slam a beautiful city because some ignorant American misses American food and American ways? Traveling is all about seeing how other countries do (fill in the blank). Some things are better and some things are not better. It is a learning experience -- to observe, to analyze, to compare. Parisians suffered terribly last year with acts of terrorism. Why print such a negative article from an extremely unsophisticated traveler? I have travelled all over Europe and I happen to think Paris is one of the greatest cities in the world. The museums are world class, the food is fantastic, the architecture is amazing and the history is fascinating.Parisians rude? The rude person was the writer of the article. Lydia Joseph
Love Paris in the fall
Williamsburg, Va.: I must have stayed in a different Paris than the author of this article. I sublet an apartment in La Defense from Aug. 2 through Oct. 30, 2016, and ate at least two, and sometimes three, meals a day all over Paris in upscale restaurants, neighborhood eateries and destinations like the Louvre. Over those three months, I only ran into two truly rude waiters -- one in a tourist spot across from the Eiffel Tower and a street vendor. I had waiters help me find museums, tourist spots and stores. In one brasserie near Napoleon's tomb, I asked for a drugstore and the waiter walked me halfway up the block giving me directions. This is not to say I did not run into any rude people in Paris, I did -- at the large department stores in particular. But my experiences in restaurants were more than 95% pleasant. Margaret Coleman
Good Bramhall
Douglaston: I love Bramhall's World. He always makes the perfect comment in his drawings! Irene Hughes
Chipping in
Brooklyn: President-elect Donald Trump would unite and endear the country to him if he could solve the problem of so few chips left in the bag after the air is let out. Ruth Biller
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