The San Francisco district attorney — whose father helped kill two cops and a guard in the infamous Brink’s armored car robbery in Nyack, New York, in 1981 — is lobbying Gov. Andrew Cuomo to commute his dad’s sentence.
Chesa Boudin, was 14 months old when his parents, David Gilbert and Kathy Boudin, members of the domestic terror group Weather Underground, dropped him off at a baby-sitter’s Oct. 2 and helped pull off the heinous heist in Nanuet, Rockland County.
Two Nyack policemen, Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly Brown — as well as Brink’s guard Peter Paige — were killed in the robbery and ensuing shootout at a nearby roadblock.
The Underground committed the crime along with the Black Liberation Army in an attempt to score dough to help fund their joint anti-government campaign.
Gilbert, 76, is among the last surviving people still imprisoned in connection with the robbery. Now his son, and others, are lobbying Cuomo.
“As long as I can remember, I’ve known that the most likely scenario is that my father is going to die in prison,” Chesa Boudin told the Associated Press.
Though his fight is personal, it also centers around questions of justice that the Democrat and former public defender faces as a district attorney.
“No matter whether my father lives the rest of his life in a cage or whether he’s released to spend his few remaining years with family, we can’t undo the harm that his crime cost,” he said in a recent interview. “And we can’t bring back the men who were so wrongfully killed that day. At what point is enough enough? I don’t know.”
Boudin, who took office last year, said during his campaign that visiting his parents in prison showed him the criminal justice system was broken.
Gilbert is serving a 75-year-to-life sentence at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility, about 90 minutes north of Manhattan, and is eligible for parole in 2056.
Steve Zeidman, a lawyer and CUNY School of Law professor spearheading the clemency campaign, argued that Gilbert has a clean prison record and has helped fellow inmates though an AIDS education program he ran during that epidemic.
Former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a high-profile supporter of his release.
Zeidman has argued that Gilbert is especially vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the system’s oldest and longest-serving inmates.
He is eligible for the vaccine, though his son said he had yet to receive it.
Kathy Boudin, who avoided a harsher sentence by pleading guilty, was released on parole in 2003.
Co-defendent Judith Clark was granted parole in 2019, three years after Cuomo commuted her sentence, based on “exceptional strides in self development.” Zeidman also handled Clark’s case.
He said Gilbert’s case “kicked into high gear” with a clemency filing last year, and supplemental material has since been added.
Though advocates hope Cuomo intervenes in a similar way for Gilbert, clemencies for more serious crimes are rare among the state’s 33,000 inmates.
Cuomo pardoned 14 people and commuted the sentences of seven others — including two women locked up for killing their abusive partners — last Christmas Eve.
With Post wires