Photo: Nan Goldin
Please join us in supporting Judy Clark’s appeal for clemency.
After serving 30 years in prison, Judy Clark deserves freedom and the opportunity to rejoin society. Behind bars, Judy entered the belly of the whale, as she put it, and through the difficult work of deep atonement and self reflection she found herself; she is no longer the same person who committed the crime all those years ago. Instead, Judy has become a model of wise and compassionate action in the world.
We believe her release will not only benefit Judy herself but society as a whole. Her release will also exemplify the values of rehabilitation, transformation, and forgiveness—characteristics of a just, wise, and compassionate world. In March 2012, after the release of a NY Sunday Times Magazine article written by Tom Robbins, the Village Zendo held an event to raise awareness on her behalf at Judson Memorial Church with over 145 attendees. More than 100 clemency letters were written and we raised about $1000 for her legal fund. Many letters from various sources were generated at that time as well. There was much energy and hope for clemency in the year immediately following the article, which sadly has not occurred. No response yet from the Governor’s office. So we are now in a quieter period of waiting and continuing to plant seeds and generate awareness in whatever ways we can. Recently Judy’s lawyer Sara Bennett published Spirit on the Inside, a book of portraits, photos and stories of just some of the many women Judy affected during her incarceration.
Much of the unfairness of the criminal justice system depends upon those on the outside simply forgetting about and giving up on those incarcerated. It is so important to not let that happen. Go to her website at judithclark.org for much more information, including her writing, and links to the NY Sunday Times article by Tom Robbins and a Guardian article by Eve Ensler. Spirit on the Inside is available digitally or in print.
We encourage everyone to write a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to grant clemency to Judy. If you’ve already done so, it is still critically important to continue spreading the word getting others to write. Unjust sentencing is one of this country’s darkest shames. Judy Clark is one of thousands presently lost in the system. We have provided three model letters for those who would prefer to use one of those. Please send a copy of your letter to Governor Cuomo to Judy’s lawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.