San Francisco’s District Attorney Chesa Boudin praised a New York parole board Tuesday after his father, former Weather Underground radical David Gilbert, was granted parole after serving 40 years for his role in a deadly 1981 Brink’s robbery that resulted in the killings of a guard and two police officers.
Gilbert, 76, became eligible for parole after his 75 years-to-life sentence was shortened by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August, hours before he left office. The New York State corrections department announced that the inmate stood before the parole board earlier this month for final approval.
The decision to grant Gilbert parole came after a lobbying campaign on his behalf but was met with critics who say justice has not been served.
Boudin, who was 14 months old when his father and mother, Kathy Boudin, who was also imprisoned in connection to the heist, said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press that he is “grateful to the Parole Board and to everyone who ha supported my father” during his time in prison.
“I’m thinking about the other children affected by this crime and want to make sure that nothing I do or say further upsets the victims’ families,” the statement read. “Their loved ones will never be forgotten. And I am thinking of the other people inside who have worked so hard to transform their lives and hope one day to return home.”
Cuomo said Gilbert’s convictions “were related to an incident in which he was the driver, not the murderer” and said Gilbert was unarmed during the robbery, LoHud.com reported.
Ed Day, Rockland County executive, called the parole a “cruel and unjust slap in the face to the families” of those killed.
“Former Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Parole Board should be ashamed for allowing this domestic terrorist to walk free on our streets,” Day said. “There’s no reason that David Gilbert should not have to face the full consequences of his heinous crimes, no matter how much time has passed.”
Michael Paige, the son of the Brinks guard Peter Paige, told LoHud.com that the impending release makes him “sick.”
The paper reported that Gilbert is expected to be freed on Nov. 30 or earlier.
Gilbert and other former members of the Weather Underground, a militant group that grew out of the anti-Vietnam War movement, had joined with members of the Black Liberation Army in the Oct. 20, 1981, robbery. They stole $1.6 million in cash from an armored car outside the Nanuet Mall near the Hudson River community of Nyack.
Boudin was raised by his parents’ Weather Underground compatriots, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
He ran a progressive campaign for San Francisco district attorney in 2019 in which he said visiting his parents in prison showed him the criminal justice system was broken.
The Associated Press contributed to this report