Clemency for David Gilbert!

San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin was only a toddler when he lost both parents to imprisonment, so pictures of him and his dad in the “free world” are precious.

by the editors of Monthly Review and the Directors of the Monthly Review Foundation

We are filled with happiness at the news that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in the closing hours of his last day in office, granted clemency to Monthly Review author David Gilbert and to four other long-term prisoners. 

David has served, as the governor noted, “40 years of a 75-years-to-life sentence, related to an incident in which he was the driver” and in which he was unarmed and harmed no one directly. 

Under New York’s draconian laws – unfortunately, not atypical for the United States – David was eligible for parole for the first time in 2056. Governor Cuomo’s commutation of his sentence refers David immediately “to the Parole Board for potential release.”

There are many other aged long-term prisoners in New York and other U.S. prisons who in any decent civilized country would, one hopes, have long since been released. We hope to see more such acts of clemency.

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin has memories of visiting his parents, David Gilbert and Kathy Boudin, in prison when he was too young to understand the nuances of guilt and innocence. His experience informed much of his work as a lawyer and DA in strengthening city efforts on rehabilitation and victim services. Kathy Boudin was released in 2003 and became an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

David Gilbert is himself a member of our Monthly Review community, has written for the magazine and over the years we have mailed Monthly Review to him in every one of the many New York institutions in which he has been imprisoned – and visited him in most. He has read every issue for decades, and on many occasions communicated, always helpfully, with the editors.

Until David is finally released, an outcome now at long last in sight, we will continue to do what we can until he is free. And to those of you who contacted Gov. Cuomo in his last days in office in response to our recent emergency request, our heartfelt gratitude.

The Monthly Review is an independent socialist magazine and book publisher. Learn more at https://monthlyreview.org/

Editor’s note: Petitions are circulating to recall DA Chesa Boudin. The Bay View urges you NOT to sign the petition. Please spread the word! We need a DA who understands the consequences of wrongful charges, convictions and sentencing and the pain it causes the family and community.