Judith Clark, a former extreme radical who was the getaway driver during the bungled 1981 Brink's robbery that killed two cops and a security guard, has been granted parole in New York.
Now 69, Clark was the driver in the botched heist in a New York City suburb. The deadly robbery culminated a long series of extreme violence committed by far-left activists in the 1960s and 1970s.
But she became a model prisoner behind bars and expressed serious remorse for her crimes. Originally sentenced to 75 years, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo commuted her sentence to 35 years more than two years ago. He praised her work in prison, where she trained service dogs, counseled mothers and started an AIDS education group.
"My great hope is that the Parole Board continues to honor the work people do to transform their lives while in prison and lets more families’ loved ones come home,” said Harriet Clark, Judith Clark’s daughter, in a statement.
Clark had been convicted of murder in Nyack and described herself at the time as a "single-minded fanatic" who was "at war with America."
She was a member of the Weather Underground when she and other comrades stole $1.6 millions from Brink's armored car. The group was one of the more extremist enclaves of anti-Vietnam War and black power movements.
Prosecutors and law enforcement agencies vehemently opposed her release. Rockland County Executive Ed Day said the parole board's decision insulted relatives of the victims.
“Today’s ruling by the parole board is a cruel and unjust slap in the face to the families of Sergeant Edward O'Grady, Officer Waverly `Chipper’ Brown and Brink's guard Peter Paige,” Day said in a statement. He also called the ruling a "perversion of justice."
Clark's attorney, Michael Cardozo, thanked the board.
"We are grateful that the Parole Board affirmed what everyone who has interacted with Judy already knows — that she is a rehabilitated, remorseful woman who poses no threat to society," he said in a statement.