Governor Andrew Cuomo Allegedly Restores Voting Rights of Convicts
New York State Parole Board Approves Several Pardon Cases
New York’s parole board has released a criminal who was responsible for the murder of two New York police officers. The occurrence happened in the 70’s, and the convicted criminal was made to serve some years in prison. 2018 happens to be the 44th year for Herman Bell who is aged 70.
The release was granted by the state parole board sometime last month. Observers have attributed the release of criminals as a political move by the state governor. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, who happens to be a Democrat, has certified the pardon of over 24,000 cases. This implies that the discharged criminals can henceforth participate in any program, as any citizen would, including the casting of votes in the forthcoming elections.
Critics in New York and America at large, have faulted this move by the New York’s state governor. Dianne Piagentini, who happened to be one of the widows of one of the police officers who was murdered told a media outfit that Herman Bell was brought to trial, and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Giving his account, Cuomo stated that he was not fully in support of the board’s decision, as the parole board voted last month to grant Bell the parole. He further stated that if he were to be on the board, he would not have brought forth that decision, also mentioning that the board happened to be an independent one which does not rely on the decisions of an external body.
However, despite Cuomo’s open criticism concerning the decisions made by the parole board, the new policy made by the governor, would certify the eligibility of Bell and other released fellows, to take part in the New York primaries and general election billed to hold later this year.
The Right to Vote
Speaking on the right of citizens in New York, Cuomo mentioned the fact that the right of a citizen to cast his or her vote is vital, and it would be both illegal and unfair to deny any citizen of that right. He further stated that as citizens, they had fulfilled their obligations to the society.
On the citizens who have been granted freedom, he opined that their entering into a society where they once belonged to, and giving them a voice with which they can begin their lives all over again as citizens, would make democracy a really fair play. He then made a pledge that till the end of his term, he would continue to sign pardons for convicts.
The parole announcement by the state governor came during the period of his party’s convention. Cuomo is currently aspiring to be the governor for the third time running, and is up against Cynthia Nixon.
Movie star and governorship aspirant, Cynthia Nixon, is working on ensuring that the purchase, and the use of marijuana in New York is legal. Cynthia Nixon currently capitalizes on this agenda, as a vital point of her campaign. On this case, Cuomo seems to be totally against it, as people have been banned totally from using it, even in minute quantities. Currently, New York is still in the business of arresting users of marijuana.
Marcus Molinaro Disagrees With Cuomo’s Approval Of Bell’s Release
The Republican governorship candidate, Marcus Molinaro, has also offered his displeasure about the announcement. He made mention of the fact that he believed in offering second chances to people, as he was also a strong adherent of the law. He also felt Cuomo was desperate to step up his chances of beating Cynthia Nixon in the forthcoming primaries. The actions he stated, was an affront to the principles of law as a whole.
About Herman Bell, he stated that he was meant to be in the cell, spending the rest of his life for the crimes he committed, and not the fulfillment of his supposed rights as a citizen of the state and the country at large.
It was reported that Cuomo’s campaign team and his office as well, turned down the request for a media outfit to take down further comments. This case of pardoning, does not in any way seem to be the first to occur in America, as it has happened in Iowa and also Virginia. The erstwhile governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe in 2016, attempted to pardon completely over 200,000 convicts all at once. It later turned out to be a big mess.
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