So far Governor Paterson hasn’t done anything about reforming the Rockefeller drug laws that have incarcerated thousands of small-time drug offenders. But he has granted, with lengthy explanations of their backgrounds and evidence of their rehabilitation, New Year’s clemencies to Joanne Carroll of Staten Island and Freddie Warren of Suffolk County. Warren, a “persistent felon,” was sentenced to 20-to-life in 1990 for selling a controlled substance. Carroll was involved in a 2000 home-invasion robbery in which an accomplice killed Edward Pastore Jr. The father of a witness to the crime called Paterson an “idiot” for granting Carroll’s clemency. Both inmates must face a state parole board before their release.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 2, 2009