The West Windsor, N.J., native sent an e-mail to acting Gov. Richard J. Cody this week describing Melvina McClain as "a woman important to my family," TMZ.com reported. McClain was sentenced to 30 years in jail for the 1986 shooting death of Detective Louis Glenn.
In the letter, Hawke said his mother "believes in her entirely."
Hawke asks that McClain's sentence be commuted "so she can live the last years of her life helping her children, her grandchildren and many others learn from her example of redemption."
McClain claimed that Glenn assaulted and threatened her during their relationship. The state Office of the Public Defender has filed a clemency petition with the State Parole Board saying McClain suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from a lifetime of psychological and physical abuse.
A spokesman for the acting governor said Cody couldn't comment until the letter had been received.