Sixty-one individuals including the 2009 Commencement Speaker for Bard College have been pardoned by Governor Andrew Cuomo according to a statement released on Wednesday.

According to the governor, eighteen of the sixty-one are "contributing members of the society and face the threat of deportation and other immigration-related challenges" as a result of previous convictions.  Thirty-nine of the pardon recipients committed misdemeanors and non-violent crimes when they were 16 and 17 years-old.  The thirty-nine were required to be crime free for ten or more years before being eligible for pardon.

Two individuals, 42-year-old Michael Flournoy and 39-year-old Dominic Dupont have been granted clemency because, according to Cuomo, they have demonstrated substantial evidence of rehabilitation and a commitment to reducing violence in the community. Fournoy was convicted of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree and other charges.  He has served twenty-one years of a 25-50 year sentence.  During his incarceration Flournoy received both his Associate's and Bachelor's Degrees from Bard College where he also gave the Commencement Address in 2009.  He earned a Mater of Arts Degree from the New York Theological Seminary.  Dupont has been serving more than twenty years of a 25-to-life sentence for Murder in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon for a homicide in which he was defending his twin brother during a dispute at the age of 19.  Flournoy plans to continue his work of Violence Prevention in Brooklyn and Dupont plans to return to Brooklyn to work as an At-Risk Youth Counselor.