The governor of New York showed mercy to rapper G. Dep for his 1993 confession of cold case murder

Governor Kathy Hochul has granted clemency to rapper Travell “G. Dep” Coleman. In 2010, Coleman entered a New York police precinct and confessed to killing a man who was a cold case for almost two decades in order to clear his conscience.

Coleman, who is now 49, has completed 13 of a 15-year to life term. The Democratic governor has commuted his sentence, so he can now apply for release before the original 2025 deadline.

Coleman is one of the sixteen people Hochul announced on Friday that had been granted clemency. Twelve pardons and four commutations are among them. For the third time in 2023, Hochul gave clemency.

“Through the clemency process, it is my solemn responsibility as governor to recognize the efforts individuals have made to improve their lives and show that redemption is possible,” Hochul said in a statement.

According to Hochul’s office, the rapper completed an associate’s degree while incarcerated and assisted with programmes for sobriety counselling and violence prevention in addition to taking part in a range of educational and rehabilitative seminars. Both the judge who condemned him and the prosecutor in the case agreed with his request for clemency.

In the early 2000s, Coleman popularized the Harlem shake, a loose-limbed dance, and scored hits with “Special Delivery” and “Let’s Get It” while performing as the stage name G. Dep. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the rapper was one of the rising talents on hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records label. According to his attorney in 2011, the rapper’s career took a nosedive following the release of his debut album, “Child of the Ghetto,” in 2001, and he became involved in drug abuse and minor crimes.

At the time, attorney Anthony L. Ricco claimed that Coleman “had been haunted” by the fatal shooting of John Henkel in 1993 and had made the decision to admit to shooting someone during an East Harlem heist when he was a teenager. Henkel was shot in the chest three times in the vicinity of an apartment block.

Robert Henkel, his brother, had insisted Hochul turn down prosecutor David Drucker’s requests for Coleman’s release, branding them as a “farce.” He stated to the New York Post, “Seeking (clemency) for narcotics offences is one thing.

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