New York Gov. Hochul Grants Clemency To Harlem Rapper G-Dep Convicted Of Crimes

December 28, 2023

Harlem rapper G-Dep, who surrendered 17 years after a fatal botched robbery as a teenager, may soon see release from prison after Gov. Kathy Hochul granted executive clemency to him and 15 others just ahead of the holidays.

Hochul commuted the sentences of four individuals, enabling early release, and pardoned 12, including non-U.S. citizens facing deportation threats. About 1,600 New Yorkers await clemency decisions as of Sunday, December 24th, 2023.

Since taking office, Hochul has granted clemency to 59 individuals, with a commitment to ongoing efforts and increased transparency in the process. Advocates, however, urge more frequent use of clemency powers, especially for those with lengthy sentences.

A G-Dep hit with Harlem Diddy’s Bad Boy, in 2001:

In a statement, Hochul pledged to continue refining the process to serve New Yorkers best, emphasizing the recognition of individuals’ efforts to reform and demonstrate redemption.

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Coleman’s unique clemency bid stems from a 1993 incident when, at 18, he attempted a gunpoint robbery in East Harlem, resulting in a fatal shooting. Unsolved for nearly two decades, Coleman rose in Harlem’s rap scene, securing a record deal. Haunted by the incident, he confessed in 2010, leading to his conviction for second-degree murder in 2012.

Despite remorse expressed by Coleman and support for his release from the original prosecutor and judge, the victim’s brother opposes clemency, asserting Coleman should serve his full sentence.

Coleman’s attorney, Steve Zeidman, underscores his client’s acknowledgment of irreparable harm, expressing optimism for parole board consideration.

Zeidman hopes Hochul continues to grant clemency to individuals serving lengthy sentences and who have demonstrated genuine repentance, highlighting the broader need for second chances and rehabilitation.

Photo credit: 8 (G-Dep from the album cover. WIki/Tisdale Studio).

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