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Convicted Brooklyn residents among those pardoned by Cuomo

One Is Nephew of HBO Star Michael K. Williams

December 29, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued pardons or commutations to dozens of New Yorkers on Wednesday, including several men from Brooklyn. File AP photo by Andy Kropa/Invision
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In an end-of-year act of mercy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued pardons or commutations to 61 New Yorkers on Wednesday, including several men from Brooklyn.

Of these, 18 faced deportation because of their past convictions. The governor said he was issuing these pardons to help counter the federal government’s increased targeting of immigrants.

One of the deportation cases the governor spotlighted was that of Brooklyn resident Alexander Shilov, now 35, who immigrated as a teen from Estonia and became addicted to drugs. Shilov was convicted of petit larceny and attempted petit larceny and served time from 2000 to 2004.

After his prison stint, Shilov turned his life around, becoming a nurse at a Brooklyn long-term managed care provider. He gives talks on overcoming addiction at hospital detox units and volunteers as a nurse in New York’s Medical Reserve Corps. Shilov has a fiancée and two infant children, and, Cuomo said, supports his elderly mother.

Cuomo said in the release that the pardon will allow Shilov to fight an Order of Removal.

Cuomo also issued pardons to 39 people who committed misdemeanors and non-violent crimes when they were 16 or 17 years old and have been crime free for 10 years or more.

In addition, he commuted the prison sentences of two Brooklyn men who he said have demonstrated “substantial evidence of rehabilitation and a commitment to community violence reduction.”

One of these is Michael Flournoy, 42, who has served 21 years of a 25-to-50-year sentence for attempted murder and other charges. Cuomo said Flournoy has a strong record of volunteer service, and, since his incarceration, has cultivated “a deep friendship with the victim and her son who now consider him a member of their family.”

In prison, Flournoy is a certified AIDS/HIV counselor and the volunteer program coordinator of the Prisoner’s AIDS Counseling and Education Program. He earned his B.A. from Bard College, where he served as the commencement speaker in 2009, and an M.A. from the New York Theological Seminary. Flournoy will live with his wife and daughters in Brooklyn.

Another Brooklyn resident receiving a commutation is Dominic Dupont, 39, who has served more than 20 years of a 25-to-life sentence for murder and criminal possession of a weapon. The charges stem from a fight between two groups of men, when Dupont, 19 at the time, killed someone while he was defending his twin brother.

Dupont has served for the past nine years as the director of the Youth Assistance Program. He will return to his wife in Brooklyn and his career as an at-risk youth counselor.

Dupont’s uncle is actor Michael K. Williams, according to “The Hill” website (thehill.com). Williams is known for his roles on HBO’s “The Wire” (where he played Omar Little) and “Boardwalk Empire (as Albert “Chalky” White). Former President Barack Obama called the character of Little “the toughest, baddest guy on the show.”

“These New Yorkers have proved their rehabilitation, in some cases for decades, but have been unable to gain legal status or fully re-enter society due to the stigma of conviction,” Cuomo said. “While the federal government continues to target immigrants and threatens to tear families apart with deportation, these actions take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York.”

Brooklyn Law School was one of many partners of the Immigrant Defense Project, which advocated for the commutations and pardons. Stacy Caplow, associate dean for Professional Legal Education at Brooklyn Law School, said in a statement, “We’ve asked for an executive pardon for our two long-term lawful permanent resident clients who have turned their lives around because the deportation machine makes this the last possible option for people whose lives have been in the U.S. for 20, 30, even 40 years.”

Lisa Schreibersdorf, executive director of Brooklyn Defender Services, applauded the pardons.

“Gov. Cuomo has given these families a wonderful gift and balanced the extremely unfair immigration system,” she said in a statement.

 

Individuals or their supporters interested in applying for clemency should visit www.ny.gov/clemency.

 


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