By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Jan. 3, 2022: A Caribbean born convicted drug dealer is getting a new lease on 2022 with a New Year’s gift of clemency from the governor of New York State.
Jamaica-born of Roger Cole, 55, was among 10 immigrants granted clemency by New York Governor Kathy Hochul who said that they have “showed remorse and exemplified rehabilitation.”
In commuting the sentence of Cole, Hochul noted that he was originally sentenced to 125 years to life in prison, “having been put on trial during the Rockefeller Drug Law era during which extremely lengthy prison sentences were handed down for drug-related convictions.”
In 1989 and 1992, Cole was convicted of five counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree, one count each of criminal sale of a firearm in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.
His sentence was subsequently reduced on appeal to 85 to 100 years, of which Cole has now served more than 30 years.
“If he were sentenced today, he likely would not have faced such a lengthy sentence,” Hochul said.
While incarcerated, she said Cole earned his General Educational Diploma (GED) and an associate degree and completed numerous vocational training and certification programs, including legal research and law library management.
He also earned a certificate for completing a three-year business course while incarcerated.
“Upon his release, Mr Cole will be reunited with his mother and other family members in his home country of Jamaica, who will provide housing and help him find employment,” Hochul said.