Cuomo Pardons Transgender Woman

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Governor Cuomo today issued a pardon for J’Adore Mattis, 31, a transgender woman, who was convicted in 2006 of 3rd Degree Robbery in Manhattan. Mattis was sentenced to 5 years’ probation and received a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities on March 24, 2015.

Mattis is a transgender woman originally from Jamaica. Mattis obtained asylum in the United States due to the violent persecution of transgender individuals in Jamaica. After conviction, Mattis obtained an Associate’s Degree from Borough of Manhattan Community College after making the Dean’s List and maintaining a 3.13 GPA. After obtaining a Associate’s Degree, Mattis attended Long Island University in Brooklyn and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. Mattis wants to work as a nurse, but the conviction is a barrier in obtaining a license. Governor Cuomo’s pardon would clear Mattis’ criminal history and clear a path towards becoming a certified nurse practitioner. Mattis has no other criminal history.

The Governor has the authority to grant commutations and pardons under the New York Constitution and State law. Together with the pardons announced earlier this year and in 2013 and 2014, the Governor has pardoned eight individuals and commuted three prison sentences since taking office. Due to his parsimonious attitude towards pardons and clemency, Cuomo has earned criticism from criminal justice reform advocates. But has burnished his progressive and liberal credentials with efforts assisting the LGBT community. 

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