Nikki Haley Calls on Hochul to Pardon Daniel Penny in Death on Subway

Daniel Penny leaves Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday, May 12, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman)

(The State/TNS) − Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has called for the release and pardon of a man accused of killing a homeless man on a subway train in New York.

In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Haley urged New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to pardon Daniel Penny, who is white, for the death of Jordan Neely, who is Black. Penny was charged with second-degree manslaughter after he is alleged to have strangled Neely to death on a train earlier this month after Neely reportedly shouted at passengers. Penny was arrested days following the incident and has since made bond.

“Here you have a former military guy where it’s in their blood to defend and protect,” Haley said of Penny, a 24-year-old Marine veteran. “He saw danger. He was trying to protect himself and the other people on that subway.”

Witnesses told police that Neely had been shouting at passengers on the train but had not physically attacked anyone, according to The New York Times.

The struggle between Penny and Neely was captured in a four-minute video showing Penny choking Neely and holding on for an additional 50 seconds after Neely stopped struggling. Penny was initially interviewed by police following the altercation but was released without charges.

The video sparked protests, spurring the Manhattan district attorney to begin investigating the incident, ultimately leading to Penny’s indictment.

“The governor needs to pardon Penny, no question about it,” Haley told Fox News. “She needs to pardon him right away. It’s the right thing to do. If they don’t, criminals will continue to roll the streets of New York because they will know that there’s no accountability for anyone who tries to stop them.”

Hochul responded Wednesday to Haley’s call.

A pardon “works after someone has been convicted of a crime,” Hochul said in an interview with Specturm News. “You don’t pardon after there’s just been an indictment, No. 1. Secondly, let the process play out. The district attorney indicted after serious deliberation, looking at the facts, witnesses and the video.”

Criminal charges against Penny were brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alan Bragg who, Haley said, has a record of being soft on crime, “letting murderers go (and) letting street crime happen all over New York City.”

Haley also said that while Penny has not yet been convicted of manslaughter, Hochul could declare her intent to pardon him.

“Gov. Hochul has sat on the sidelines while liberal district attorneys like Alvin Bragg turn New York City into a war zone where innocent people are scared to take the subway and criminals get a free pass,” Haley said in a news release Wednesday.

“Governors are supposed to protect their people. She can send a message to criminals by announcing her intent to pardon Daniel Penny. She can remove Alvin Bragg for endangering Manhattan residents. One thing is clear: doing nothing only continues the crime wave in New York.”

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