Rockland County legislators voted unanimously on a resolution opposing the parole and release of Judith Clark, who participated in the 1981 robbery of a Brinks armored car outside the former Nanuet Mall which ended in the deaths of three law enforcement officers.
The 15-0 last week comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefly met with Clark — but not any of the victims’ relatives or others impacted by her crimes — and commuted her sentence to 35 years, making her eligible for parole in the first quarter of 2017.
Clark, who was the getaway driver in the $1.6 million robbery on Oct. 20, 1981, had originally been sentenced to a minimum of 75 years and would not otherwise have been eligible for parole until 2056. Two Nyack police officers and a Brinks guard were killed.
“The Brinks murders not only changed Rockland County, but they took away three good men from their families forever,” Legislator Vincent D. Tyer said. “We cannot forget that the families of Nyack Police Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly ‘Chipper’ Brown and Brinks Guard Peter Page are serving life sentences without the husbands and fathers for whom Judith Clarke showed no clemency. Governor Cuomo should not have commuted and parole cannot be granted.”
Tyer (R-Pearl River) and Legislator Ilan Schoenberger (D-Wesley Hills) introduced the resolution.
Schoenberger said that even today, Clark has never cooperated with law enforcement, has never revealed the identities of her co-conspirators and has never come forward with new information.
“I think that until she does so, and fully confesses all involvement and all action in this crime, she is truly not remorseful,” Schoenberger said. “The families of the victims, at the very least, deserve that, along with an apology.”
Forensic evidence proved that Clark was present during at least some of the murders. When the police approached to arrest her after she crashed the getaway car, she reached for a loaded pistol and had a spare magazine for the weapon on her when she was captured.
Cuomo and other advocates say Clark has changed during her time in prison. Opponents say that those changes should not obscure the fact that she participated in the murder of three people as part of a terrorist plot.
John Hanchar, a Clarkstown police officer and O’Grady’s nephew, made an impassioned plea in support of the resolution.