Judith Clark, a former Weather Underground radical who drove the getaway car in a deadly 1981 Brink's heist — in which two police officers and a guard were killed — was granted parole after serving more than 37 years in a New York prison.
In 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo commuted her 75-years-to-life sentence and made her eligible for parole.
Prosecutors and law enforcement groups have been bitterly opposed to her parole. Rockland County Executive Ed Day called the parole board’s ruling an insult to the victims' loved ones.
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“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 Brinks guard Peter Paige,” Day said in a statement.“This perversion of justice is a sad continuation of the deadly assault on police officers happening across our Nation and signals to the criminal element that it is open season on cops. The parole board and the elected officials responsible for allowing this domestic terrorist to walk free should be ashamed.”
Officials have said that Clark, 69, was a model prisoner, having trained service dogs, started an AIDS education program and counseled mothers behind bars.
"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," her lawyer, Michael Cardozo, said in a statement.
Clark's daughter, Harriet Clark, added: "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."
Clark was denied parole in 2017 when the board said she was "still a symbol of violent terroristic crime."
On Oct. 20, 1981,Weather Underground stole $1.6 million from the Brink's armored car in Nanuet, New York, killing Paige and Nyack police officers O'Grady and Brown.
The group was born out of the anti-Vietnam War and black power movements, carrying out violent attacks.
"I look at the world differently now," Clark said in her letter asking Cuomo for clemency. "Instead of abstract slogans, I see and am moved by flesh-and-blood people."
David K. Li
David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.