New York Governor Andrew Cuomo commuted more than half of Clark’s 75-years-to-life sentence as part of a mass issuance of pardons prior to the New Year.
While a news release from the governor’s office touts Clark obtaining a college degree in prison, working with incarcerated AIDS patients, and volunteering for Puppies Behind Bars, Cuomo remains silent on the numerous crimes the former Weatherman stands accused of allegedly committing in addition to the October 20, 1981, job that robbed three men of their lives and a Brink’s truck of $1.6 million.
“She was never charged formally,” retired FBI agent Kenneth Maxwell concedes of a deadly June 1981 heist in the Bronx that preceded the one Clark went to prison over in Nanuet, New York. “But we learned from one of the principal cooperating witnesses, named Tyrone Rison, of her involvement. From Rison himself, he gave us a list of people who were on that job. Judy Clark was on that job.”
Maxwell alleges that in Bronx, like in Nanuet, Clark armed herself for the occasion even if she did not discharge her weapon. The Bronx crime left William Moroney, 58, dead, and 46-year-old fellow guard Michael Schlachter disabled.
Maxwell contends that prosecutors declined to pursue charges against Clark in the Bronx case because they regarded it as an inefficient use of resources. With Clark likely to end her life behind bars over the deadly Nanuet robbery, contemporaneously trying her for the caper in the Bronx struck the state as a redundancy. The same mentality led to prosecutors declining to pursue Clark for the prison-break of convicted cop-killer Joanne Chesimard, who now goes by Assata Shakur in Cuba.
“We got detailed testimony from Tyrone Rison,” retired FBI special agent Maxwell tells Breitbart News of the participant in the jailbreak who became a government witness. “He mentions her being there at the safehouse where they met in the morning. Her codename was “Alex.” He recalls her donning a wig and being part of the entourage that went out, preplanned, to break Joanne Chesimard out of prison.”
Numerous conspirators involved in the Brink’s robbery in Nanuet two years later took guards hostage, stole a prison van, and sprung Chesimard from the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton, New Jersey, on November 2, 1979. In the indictments, Maxwell notes, the state lists Judith Clark as an uncharged co-racketeer.
Donald Wofford, who surveilled Clark and her comrades for hundreds of hours in the 1970s and ’80s, admired her skills at eluding the agents trailing her.
“She’d meet with the main FALN guy, Julio Rosado, in New York, after dry-cleaning herself for hours,” Wofford tells Breitbart News. “She’d ride a bus and get off and get back on. She’d get on a train and get off and get back on. She’d meet the main guy in Central Park. She’s not a subservient person in the conversation. She’s telling him stuff and he’s telling her stuff.”
Wofford, the FBI’s case agent on the FALN during the late 1970s and early ’80s, still wonders about the extent of Clark’s involvement with the Puerto Rican terrorist group. Members of her May 19 Communist Organization helped break the group’s primary bombmaker out of the prison ward of Bellevue Hospital in 1979.
“She knows stuff that we would love to know,” the retired special agent tells Breitbart News. “I would give my right arm to go up to that prison and interview her.”
New York’s board of parole aims to review Clark’s case in the first quarter of 2017. The governor, who appoints the 12 members of the board, offered comments encouraging Clark’s release in the wake of commuting part of her mandatory sentence.
“We call it the “correction” system,” Cuomo reflected on Clark’s case. “I think the situation is corrected as it is ever going to be, unless you can bring a person back to life.”