Just before the long weekend, New York State officials announced 13 people were granted clemency.

On Friday, Gov. Kathy Hochul granted clemency to 13 people.

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"Clemency is an extraordinary form of relief. Typically, clemency will only be considered in circumstances where there is no other administrative process that can provide the type of relief a clemency applicant is seeking," New York State officials stated.

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Governor Hochul Grants Clemency To Thirteen Individuals

Hochul announced 11 pardons and two commutations.

The most common forms of clemency are commutations and pardons, state officials say.


Typically, a commutation is a reduction in the length of a person’s sentence, while a pardon "provides relief from some or all consequences of a criminal conviction."

Clemency typically recognizes individuals demonstrating remorse, exemplifying rehabilitation, and displaying a commitment to improving themselves and their communities, according to Hochul's office.

“The clemency process requires intense deliberation and consultation with law enforcement, prosecutors, victims’ rights advocates, applicants and other stakeholders,” Hochul said.

Commutations: 2 Convicted of Murder


Yohannes Johnson, 67, was convicted of Murder in the Second Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, and associated charges in 1982.

At the time of the crime, Johnson was 24. Officials note he has served 43 years of his 75-year to life sentence. Under his original sentence, he wouldn't be elgible for parole until he was 99-years-old, in 2055.

"Johnson’s sentence is being commuted to allow him an earlier opportunity to appear before the Parole Board so that the board can make a determination about whether he is suitable for parole," Hochul's office states.

Jermaine Swaby, now 41, was 19 years old when he was convicted of murder in 2002.

He has served over 22 years of his 25-year life sentence. He would be eligible for parole in two years.

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Hochul's office notices both sentences are being commuted to allow both an earlier opportunity to appear before the Parole Board so that the board can make a determination about whether he is suitable for parole.

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All 11 who were granted pardons "have all lived crime-free lives for well over a decade – and in many cases several decades," officials say.

Below are 11 who were pardoned.

  • Richard Miccichi, 77
  • Manuel Mejia, 74
  • Rafael Sosa, 56
  • Paul Pierrilus, 43
  • Lakeisha Burkes, 51
  • Patrick Wilson, 59
  • Leroy Rushie, 60
  • Antoinette Notice, 59
  • Lucilo Diaz, 58
  • Alfredo Pimentel, 52
  • Alim Kouliev, 64

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