Incarceration Nation

Alleged Government Interference in Governor Cuomo’s Parole Denial

A Letter to Friends and Supporters from Jalil A. Muntaqim

On December 11, 2018 I met with the New York State Board of Parole for the tenth time. Once again, I was denied parole, although my co-defendant had been granted release earlier in the year. When my co-defendant was released, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, and New York State Senator Gallivan each made public statements opposing the decision to release him, siding with the New York City Police Benevolent Association (PBA). Governor Cuomo specifically said that if he were on the parole board, “I would not have made that decision.” In essence, he poisoned the well, prohibiting me from obtaining a fair and impartial parole hearing.

In anticipation of the possibility of being denied parole, on December 13, 2018, I submitted to Governor Cuomo’s office an application to commute the sentence to time served. Recognizing the political dynamics surrounding my fight for freedom, it has become necessary to put the onus of my continued imprisonment at the doorstep of the Governor. He has the authority and power to commute this sentence and grant my immediate release from prison. However, in order to persuade Governor Cuomo to act accordingly, a national and international campaign needs to be mounted.

As former Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army member, as well as the co-founder of the National Jericho Movement (see, my continued imprisonment—especially after the negative backlash from my co-defendant’s release—and Governor Cuomo’s public comments, has made my fight for freedom a human rights issue. Having spent nearly twice as much time in prison as Nelson Mandela, I have fulfilled every obligation and expectations, as a model prisoner after 47-plus years in prison, to be granted parole. Unfortunately, the laws governing New York State parole procedures have been usurped by the political aspirations of governor Cuomo. It is alleged and believed he will seek the office of the President in 2020, or seek to be the Vice Presidential choice of the frontrunner.

Governor Cuomo’s political maneuvering should remind us of the “Willie Horton” fiasco when George H.W. Bush used the horrendous crime of that released prisoner to scuttle his opponent, Michael Dukakis’s bid for the Presidency. As a counter measure to such a fiasco, and to not be accused of being “soft on crime,” Governor Cuomo will seek to scuttle any opportunity for my release until after the 2020 election. These nefarious political machinations cannot be permitted. Hence, my fight for freedom is now a human rights political issue.

Therefore, it is incumbent on friends and supporters across the country and around the world to call, fax, text, email, tweet, write and petition New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to grant my application to commute the sentence to time served. We collectively need to let Governor Cuomo know I will not be held hostage for his political ambition and benefit. I ask that you join and actively support this campaign for my freedom. That you bring this campaign to the attention of your affiliate organizations, faith-based institutions, progressive social groups, democratically and fair-minded elected officials and activists, encouraging them to actively support this campaign.

Ultimately, this campaign is a test of our collective will and ability to forge a national and international determination to free our political prisoners. I sincerely hope all of you who support the freedom of our political prisoners will utilize every social media technique and tool available to disseminate information about this campaign and my fight for freedom.

For more information about my case check my website,

Communications to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office must refer to me as:

Anthony Bottom #77A4283

Sullivan Correctional Facility

Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116

Write to:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of the State of New York

Executive Chamber

State Capital Building

Albany, New York 12224

Call: 1-518-474-8390

Tweet: @NYGovCuomo


—January 2019