Ike Perlmutter's Justice League Frees Its First Prisoner
Earlier this year, Bleeding Cool reported that Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter, his wife Laura, and the Perlmutter Foundation had donated $15 million to the Cardozo School Of Law to create the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice. Or as Bleeding Cool styled it, a "Justice League". Well, that Justice League has just freed its first prisoner
Bruce Bryant, a 53-year-old man who has spent the past 30 years in prison, has been granted clemency by New York Governor Kathy Hochul. The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law School has been representing Bryant since June, both in his clemency efforts and in his efforts to have his case re-reviewed by the Queens County District Attorney's Conviction Integrity Unit. The Center will continue to represent him along with the Legal Aid Society in fighting for his full exoneration before the Queens County CIU.
Bryant was convicted of murder when he was 23 years old and was sentenced to 37.5 years to life in prison. Despite his incarceration, the Center states that Bryant has made significant contributions while behind bars, earning a Bachelor's and Associate's degree and establishing the Civic Duty Initiative, a program that raises money for gun buy-backs in order to reduce violence in communities.
Josh Dubin, the Executive Director of the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice, commended Governor Hochul for granting clemency to Bryant, saying, "Bruce is elated, and I have no doubt that he will rejoin society and continue to make positive contributions in criminal justice reform – just as he has while incarcerated." Governor Hochul's office stated "Clemency is a powerful tool that can be exercised to advance the interests of justice and fairness, and to recognize efforts made by individuals to improve not only their own lives but the lives of those around them. These grants of clemency serve not only to acknowledge the steps these individuals have taken to rehabilitate themselves, but to remind others that such change is possible and that nobody should be defined by their worst mistake. I am deeply grateful to the Clemency Advisory Panel for their thoughtful work, and I am committed to continuing our efforts to reform the process to best serve New Yorkers."
The Perlmutter Center trains lawyers in the use of scientific evidence to address wrongful convictions and works to obtain clemency for those who were unjustly incarcerated or have served long sentences and demonstrated rehabilitation. Ike and Laura Perlmutter have also been involved in litigation claiming that Laura was falsely implicated in a hate-mail campaign against a Florida neighbour Harold Peerenboom, which includes claims of contaminated DNA results against her.
The new executive director of the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law, prominent civil rights attorney and criminal justice reform advocate Josh Dubin, had helped the Perlmutters in the litigation. And the intent appears to be to help others going through similar situations as the Perlmutters, for those without their billions to fall back on.
Ike Perlmutter, who sold Marvel to Disney though remained its chairman, was the largest donor to Donald Trump's Presidential campaigns, Laura sat on Trump's Inauguration Committee, and Ike became a controversial part of the Veteran's Administration. Both were chosen to dine with Trump at Mar-A-Lago for Thanksgiving instead of his own family. The Perlmutters are also the largest donors funding transgender surgery in the USA.