No Pardons by NY Gov. Cuomo; Some See ‘Horton Syndrome’


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has let another Christmas pass without granting a sentence commutation for an imprisoned felon, reports the Albany Times-Union. He has granted none since taking office in 2011, in contrast with the previous four governors, including his father, Mario Cuomo. When asked if any clemency was forthcoming this year, a spokesman said “all requests are reviewed.”

There doesn’t appear to be a public outcry over clemencies, and a governor can grant them at any time. One advocate said he believes Cuomo, like some other politicians, has been influenced by the “Willie Horton Syndrome,” who was serving a life term for murder in Massachusetts in the 1980s when he left prison under a furlough and committed an armed robbery and rape. The anecdote was used against Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988.

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