[Ppnews] Judy Clark Clemency Campaign

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 3 18:42:16 EST 2010


 From Pam Fadem

Judy Clark is an activist with a long history in the social movements 
of the 1960s and 1970s, and is an old and dear friend of mine. She 
was arrested in October 1981 and convicted of felony murder for her 
involvement in the armed robbery of a Brinks truck that left Brinks 
guard Peter Paige and two police officers, Waverly Brown and Edward 
O'Grady, dead. Judy was not accused of being one of the shooters.

Now 60 years old, and in the 29th year of her 75-year-to-life 
sentence, Judy is profoundly remorseful and has spent the last 25 
years coming to terms with her past. She says, "While my life is 
fueled by a hope-filled commitment to repair, I never forget that the 
lives lost on October 20 cannot be redeemed. I will always live with 
sorrow, shame, and regret for my role in their deaths."

Judy has exhausted all possible legal remedies. With Gov. Paterson 
officially not running for a second term, this is an important time 
to get a LOT of letters to him in support of a clemency petition. 
Even if you do not know her personally, you can see from what is in 
the sample letter below, as well as in Judy?s poem, that she is a 
women committed to building, contributing to and caring for community 
wherever she is living.

addressed to Gov. Paterson but sent directly to Judy's lawyer, Leon 
Friedman. For more info: Amy March 
(<mailto:amymarch at mac.com>amymarch at mac.com), Suzanne Kessler 
(<mailto:suzannekessler2004 at yahoo.com>suzannekessler2004 at yahoo.com), 
or Agnes Burke (<mailto:burke.agnes at gmail.com>burke.agnes at gmail.com).

Also Check out <http://www.judithclark.org/>www.judithclark.org, 
where you can read some of Judy's writings and get to know more about 
who she is.

Pam Fadem (member of CCWP)


Leon Friedman, Esq.
PO Box 544
Radio City Station
New York, NY 10101-0544

A Poem by Judy Clark:

If these walls could talk

If these walls could talk
they might remind me
that I put myself in their
harsh embrace
that my years of tears
cannot wash away
the sorrows
of three widows and
nine fatherless children

If these walls could talk
they might shout
Wake up!

There is no going back
This is no place for
sorry sorries
Your job is to live the change
your sorries demand
Be a new way. Be a light.

If these walls could talk
they would say
Even walls
must one day
open up to the
star filled sky
an open road
new horizons
It is time.

Judith Clark 1/09


Governor David A. Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor:

I am writing to support the clemency petition of Judy Clark, # 
08627-054. Incarcerated at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Ms. 
Clark is now in her 29th year of a 75 years to life term.

Ms. Clark has used these years in prison to change her own life and 
to contribute to the community both inside and outside of prison. She 
earned a BA in Behavioral Sciences in 1990 and a Masters Degree in 
Psychology in 1993. Since that time, she's been on the staff of the 
Nursery Program, where Judy has taught pre-natal Parenting classes 
for pregnant women and has been a mentor and role model to the 
nursery mothers who live with their babies on a special unit in the prison.

During the 1980s, to address the impact of the AIDS epidemic at 
Bedford Hills, Judy co-founded the groundbreaking AIDS Counseling and 
Education program (ACE), an organization so effective it has been 
replicated at prisons across the country. She was co-editor of 
Breaking the Walls of Silence: AIDS and Women in a New York State 
Maximum Security Prison (Overlook Hardcover 1998). Judy also helped 
to rebuild a prison college program when public funding for it was 
eliminated in the 1990s; more than 100 women have been awarded 
Associate's or Bachelor's degrees in the past ten years. Judy 
continues to be an ongoing informal adviser to many of those students.

Judy lives in a special volunteer unit with inmates who participate 
in the Puppies Behind Bars program. They raise and train puppies to 
become guide dogs for the blind, explosive detection dogs for law 
enforcement agencies, and service dogs for disabled people?primarily 
veterans. She is currently raising her seventh puppy.

Judy's poetry has been published in numerous journals and The New 
Yorker, she won the 1995 PEN Prison Poetry Writing Award, and her 
scholarly essays have appeared in such journals as The Prison 
Journal, Zero to Three, and The Women's Passover Companion: Women's 
Reflections on the Festival of Freedom. For the past four years, 
Judy, who was raised in the tradition of radical secular Judaism, has 
immersed herself in religious studies and Clinical Pastoral Education 
and she has just completed certification as a Chaplain.

Perhaps her most significant accomplishment is that despite 
incarceration, Judy has been a warm, loving and influential mother to 
her now 29-year-old daughter, Harriet, a graduate of Stuyvesant High 
School, Stanford University, and the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Neither 
mother nor daughter has taken their relationship for granted.

Judy Clark is a "fit subject for mercy," the requirement for 
clemency. She takes full responsibility for her role in the deaths of 
Peter Paige, Edward O?Grady and Waverly Brown, and she lives every 
day regretting her participation in this senseless action. She has 
shown by her work over the past 25 years that she is an extraordinary 
woman. Her accomplishments, her model behavior, her efforts on behalf 
of other inmates, her spiritual and personal growth, her remorse, and 
the fact that she has spent more than 28 years in prison, are all 
reasons why Judy Clark justly deserves clemency.


Cc: Leon Friedman, Esq.

PO Box 544
Radio City Station
New York, NY 10101-0544

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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