Latino was twice in prison and now he wants to be a judge in New York: "I paid my debt to the devil"

Ángel Cruz, a 56-year-old Latino, is now seeking to serve as a Civil Court judge in The Bronx (New York, USA), after having trafficked heroin and spent more than a decade in jail for two convictions of armed robbery and attempted murder.

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As reported by the “Newspaper La Prensa” from USACruz said he changed his life to be a parent and become a lawyer. “The prison library became my church. (…) Only in the United States is it possible. I went from public enemy to public champion”.

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Cruz He does not deny his past and testifies to it as part of his campaign for the office of judge in New York. The Latino admits that he did not behave well during his growth. His criminal past has been evidenced in a promotional video.

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His delinquent life

This man was first arrested for robbery when he was just 12 years old. Later, the courts convicted him of attempted murder in the middle of an assault in 1982. At that time, he was already 17 years old.

He had a gun. There were shots”, Says Cruz, but warns that the person who shot was an accomplice and no one was injured. After serving his sentence, the Latino was released in 1988.

However, he returned to criminal life and was arrested at the age of 22. Later, he was sentenced for armed robbery. This occurred in the middle of a dispute over the sale of heroin in Brooklyn. On that occasion, Cruz He was sentenced to between 8 and 16 years after a jury trial.

During your stay in prison, Cruz He came to the library and became his own legal advocate. With the help of a public defender, he introduced himself when he had to appeal his conviction. After this episode, the Appeals Division “discarded and returned”The case to a judge in the first instance.

It is for this reason that Cruz thanks Brooklyn Magistrate César Quiñones (who died in 2018) for reducing his sentence to 5 years or the time already served.

“I asked Judge Quiñones if he had enough courage to give me a chance. You are talking about a twice convicted criminal who has been in the criminal justice system since the age of 12 (…) In the end, Judge Quiñones used grace. The judge paid my debt to the devil. After that, I belonged to God. From that moment on, I changed my life “, indicated Cruz.

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Life change

Cruz He graduated from John Jay College and CUNY Law School to later work as a clerk for judges. In addition, he did legal work for the Bronx County honcho’s office. Currently, he has his own law firm.

In the midst of this change, Cruz He had trouble practicing law because of his past. However, after an arduous process, he was able to achieve it. Most recently, he represented ex-councilman and ex-con Hiram Monserrate.

Cruz, who now resides in Throggs Neck, lost his candidacy for a seat in the Queens State Assembly, but has received significant backing from Assemblyman José Rivera (former chairman of the Bronx-New York Democratic Party). “Angel has served his sentence. He has redeemed himself. You have nothing to be ashamed of and a lot to be proud of. I am proud of your candidacy”.

Angel will be a fair judge. No one will control it“, He added Rivera.

The Latino says that if he is elected he will be a judge without partiality. “I suspect I will hear criminal cases. The first obligation is public safety. Punishment is necessary. But we must measure that gracefully”, He warned.

Finally, Cruz’s campaign has finished processing the procedures for the Democratic primaries on June 22. Jessica Flores, John Rodríguez, Verena Powell and Yadhira González Taylor are other candidates for Civil Court Judge in the Second Municipal District of the Bronx.



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