Governor Andrew Cuomo just hours before leaving office granted clemency to five men including David Gilbert who is serving a 75 years to life sentence for a robbery of a Brink’s armored truck in 1981.

Gilbert was a member of the radical group the Weather Underground who robbed the truck in Rockland County resulting in the death of two Nyack police officers and one security guard.


By Cuomo granting Gilbert clemency it will allow him to make his case to the parole board for early release. Gilbert was convicted of felony murder and robbery and is currently incarcerated at Shawangunk Correctional Facility.


Steve Zeidman represents Gilbert and says that he is one of the oldest and longest serving inmates in the state. He claims Gilbert has expressed deep remorse for his crime and has done a lot of good work while incarcerated such as creating an AIDS education program. Zeidman claims that Cuomo’s actions give hope to other incarcerated inmates who fear they will never get out.

Kathy Boudin, Gilbert’s wife, also spent several decades in prison for her role in the robbery. Both Gilbert and Boudin were in a transfer truck waiting for the getaway car that was carrying the money and the robbers. They both played the same role, but Boudin hired an attorney to defend her while Gilbert chose to defend himself.

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Gilbert’s son, Chesa Boudin, was elected district attorney of San Francisco in 2019 and feels that his father’s sentence was different than his mom’s sentence because he defended himself.

“My father was not present in the courtroom for much of the trial and nobody advocated for him, which is why it is a bad idea to represent yourself. My mother and father did the exact same thing and had identical culpability in the crime. My mother served 22 years in prison and was paroled 17 years ago, while my father is still in prison. It’s an example of criminal justice imbalance.” – Chesa Boudin

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Still Gilbert played a role in a robbery that resulted in the death of two police officers and a security guard. While his sentence might seem extreme to some, to the families who lost their loved ones his sentence might seem justified.


This piece was written by Zach Heilman on August 24, 2021. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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