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Cuomo grants clemency to 21 people who showed 'remorse, rehabilitation'

Cuomo grants clemency to 21 people who showed 'remorse, rehabilitation'
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New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoSix NY county executives call on Cuomo to update state's mask mandate in line with CDC guidance CDC's about-face on masks appears politically motivated to help a struggling Biden Cuomo accuser blasts governor's 'Trumpian gaslighting' over harassment allegations MORE granted clemency to 21 people on Thursday, the Democrat announced in a tweet.

In his statement regarding his decision, Cuomo said that the New York law should be just and compassionate.

"Government is uniquely situated to harness the power of redemption, encourage those who have committed crimes to engage in meaningful rehabilitation and help those individuals work toward a better future for themselves and others," Cuomo said, according to a statement released by the governor's office. 

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Within the series of clemencies, which addressed offenses ranging from manslaughter to criminal possession of marijuana, 14 people were granted pardons and seven received commutations.

"Those receiving pardons have, for years, demonstrated they are strong functioning members of their community and deserving of a clean slate that will allow them to escape the stigma of a long-ago conviction," the statement reads. "Those receiving sentence commutations have undergone a successful rehabilitation, demonstrated true remorse their actions and shown themselves to be worthy of a chance to re-enter society."

Cuomo called the clemencies "another step toward a more fair and a more empathetic New York," and thanked those who helped them come to be, including volunteer attorneys.

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Cuomo's office did not immediately respond to The Hill with any further comments.

The New York governor previously made headlines in 2018 with another set of clemencies, when he granted pardons to seven people under threat of deportation from the Trump administration.

The Release Aging People in Prison Campaign and Parole Preparation Project, a prison reform group, applauded the governor's move, but noted it affected less than 1 percent of New York prisoners who applied for clemency in 2020.