“David Gilbert is a person transformed, as we all are, by the wisdom that comes with aging and from reflecting on our experiences and their effects upon others. Releasing him will return to the community a man who will contribute both to it and to his family.”Nobel Peace Laureates, November 2020.
David Gilbert has been incarcerated since October 20, 1981, when he was arrested in the wake of a deadly robbery of an armored car. During the robbery a guard for the Brink’s security company and two Nyack, NY, police officers were killed. David acted as a getaway driver. He did not attack or seek to attack anyone, nor was he armed. Under New York State’s felony murder law, any participant in a robbery bears full legal responsibility for any deaths that ensue. As such David shares responsibility for these tragic deaths. He was sentenced to 75 years to life; he is therefore not eligible to appear before a parole board until 2056.
David Gilbert has spent a lifetime working against racism and for justice and peace inside and outside of prison, for which he is widely known and beloved. While incarcerated, he has expressed and deepened his remorse; counseled others and taught nonviolence; helped hundreds of incarcerated people get their GEDs; initiated, developed and inspired AIDS programs that have saved innumerable lives, and has been a loving, engaged parent to his son Chesa Boudin.
Nothing will undo the terrible toll from the crime in which David Gilbert participated. He has served 39 years in prison for his actions. He is now 76 years old, making him one of the oldest, and longest-serving people in New York State prison, at a time when older people in prison are at high risk of COVID-19 infection. For all these reasons, we urge Governor Cuomo to grant David clemency.