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Elected Officials Demand Clemency for LAS Client Reggie Randolph

The Legal Aid Society and New York State Senators Jessica Ramos, Julia Salazar and Gustavo Rivera called on Governor Kathy Hochul to grant a clemency application currently pending for Reginald Randolph, a Legal Aid Society client who is currently serving a state prison sentence of 2-4 years for stealing NyQuil from Duane Reade. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office which prosecuted Mr. Randolph does not oppose the petition given the housing and services that are in place, as reported by The Appeal.

Mr. Randolph is 58, disabled, and was incarcerated at Rikers Island for over 850 days before being transferred to state prison on the aforementioned charge, which did not involve an act of violence, brandishing a weapon, or making threats.

Mr. Randolph’s health is extremely poor. He is fully blind in one eye and nearly blind in the other due to cataract and glaucoma conditions.

He needs vision-saving surgery, and he attended pre-operation ophthalmology appointments at a local NYC hospital while detained at Rikers Island.

Mr. Randolph is also extremely medically vulnerable, with diagnoses of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, asthma, and a history of tuberculosis—all of which, according to medical experts, make him highly susceptible to serious illness or death.

He is also at the highest risk of COVID-19 related complications should he be so unfortunate to contract the virus. He has used a walking device since March 2021 following a fall in the shower due to his failing vision, however that device was reportedly taken from him after his transfer to state prison. Mr. Randolph struggles with serious mental illness which has exacerbated his daily trauma, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness while in jail.

Lastly, Mr. Randolph has already been approved by local supportive housing and community treatment programs which are ready to take him the moment he is released.

“Further incarcerating Reggie puts him at risk of eventual homelessness and does nothing to further public safety,” Jeffrey Berman, an attorney with The Legal Aid Society and who represents Mr. Randolph. “Reggie has inhumanely been subjected to punitive incarceration for a total of well over two years. We call on Governor Hochul to grant Reggie clemency so that he can be released to a community that is ready to care for and support him now.”