Following the announcement of former governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s reduced sentence, David Gilbert, member of the extremist group Weather Underground who participated in the brutal theft of a Brink’s armored vehicle in Rockland County back in 1981, was free two months later.
The 77-year-old man was convicted of felony murder and robbery in the 1970s and has been in prison ever since. Two police officers from Nyack and a security guard were killed in the attack on Oct. 20, 1981, nearly precisely 40 years before Gilbert appeared before the parole board last week.
Cuomo made the announcement of the commutation just hours before he announced his resignation at the end of August. To be released from Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Ulster County at the end of the month, Gilbert has been granted parole by the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
As of August, CUNY Law School professor Steve Zeidman, who has been defending Gilbert since 2019, noted that he was one among the state’s approximately 38,000 convicts with the oldest and longest serving tenures.
When he was in prison, Gilbert participated in activities such as the construction of a statewide AIDS education program that became a model for other states, according to the prosecutor.
Chesa Boudin, son of Gilbert Boudin, was recently appointed as San Francisco’s district attorneyan used his position to make lobby according to Fox News.
His mother, Kathy Boudin, spent decades in jail for her role in the heist until being released on parole in 2003.
The couple was waiting for the getaway car to arrive with the thieves and the $1.6 million they’d taken from the Brink’s truck at the Nanuet Mall. They were in a transfer truck waiting for the getaway car.
A guard and two police officers were killed during the robbery
Last year, Chesa Boudin told the Times Union’s Paul Grondahl that his father is probably the only person his age who has done as many years in state jail although he was unarmed during the crime.
Weather Underground member Judith Clark, who drove the getaway car in the Brink’s robbery, was released on parole in 2019 after Cuomo reduced her 75-years-to-life sentence in 2016. Her release was fiercely resisted by prosecutors and law officials, who dubbed it an insult to the families of the victims.´
The decision was not welcome in social media either.
“disgraceful. … Today’s decision diminishes respect for victims and their families in our criminal justice system and weakens public safety,” Sheriff Louis Falco III of Rockland County said in a statement on Tuesday.
The director of the effort to free elderly prisoners, Jose Saldana, said Gilbert “spent decades in prison creating rehabilitative programs and has been an unparalleled positive influence on the lives of countless incarcerated people. There is no doubt that he will be an asset to his community.”