Governor Kathy Hochul Grants Clemency to Bryon Russ Whose Petition Included an Advocacy Video Coproduced by Bard Human Rights Students
Bryon Russ is one of the individuals with whom Bard undergraduate students—as part of the seminar Human Rights 321, Advocacy Video—created a video presentation to accompany his clemency petition in fall of 2019. Bard students Maeve Potter ’20, Charlotte Geissler ’21, Adrianna Candor ’20, and the late Margarita Kuchma MA ’23 worked with a team of students at CUNY Law School and the human rights organization WITNESS to prepare short video presentations that accompanied a number of New York State clemency applications.
Russ, 47, was sentenced in 2001 to 40 years in prison, of which he has served close to 23 years. While incarcerated, Russ has enrolled in courses towards earning his bachelor’s degree, worked as a teacher's assistant for other incarcerated individuals seeking their GED, become an accomplished legal researcher, and earned a paralegal certification. His counseling and volunteer work includes being a facilitator of anti-violence and aggression replacement programs and a participant in Rehabilitation Through the Arts. With his wife, Russ also started an initiative, which has become an annual event, to raise donations to buy backpacks and school supplies for New York State children in need. Upon release, Mr. Russ will live with his wife.
Bard’s Human Rights 321, Advocacy Video is an Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences class cotaught by Thomas Keenan, professor of comparative literature and director of the Human Rights Program, and Brent Green, visiting artist in residence. The course is cross-listed with Film and Electronic Arts.
For further reading:
Bard Students in Human Rights Course Produce Videos for People in Prison Seeking Clemency
Gregory Mingo Pardoned in One of Andrew Cuomo’s Last Acts as Governor of New York State, with Support from Bard-CUNY Clemency Team
Post Date: 04-10-2023