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Cuomo Wants Attica Prison Riot Records Unsealed

3:12 PM, Apr 19, 2013   |    comments
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Written by Jessica Alaimo, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like to see records unsealed from the Attica prison riots, which happened more than 40 years ago.

Questions came up about the prison uprising after a documentary aired in February. Meeting with the Democrat and Chronicle editorial board April 2, Cuomo was supportive of unsealing the records, but said there were legal questions to be answered first.

The story of what really happened has been under lock and key since 1976, after former Gov. Hugh Carey issued a blanket pardon for all involved. The leader of the inmates during the incident was from Rochester.

Cuomo has since learned that these records are in possession of the Attorney General's Office, so they must submit the application for an appeal to get them unsealed, however in the letter Cuomo's office said they would support them in this endeavor.

The sealed records are certain portions of a three-volume report ssued in 1975. Requests had been made to unseal them - but not since 1981.

"(T)he Governor's Office believes that since these records were sealed ago and past Attorney's General and Governors have filed appeals to unseal these documents, our Offices should pursue a new course of action to try and get them released to the public," states a letter from Cuomo's counsel Mylan Denerstein.

They would like to determine if the "substantial passage of time" will change any of the circumstances under which the records were sealed.

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