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New York Attorney General Seeks Power to Bypass Presidential Pardons

Posted  April 19, 2018

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent a letter to state lawmakers this week urging them to close a loophole in New York’s double jeopardy law. Under the plan, Mr. Schneiderman, seeks to exempt New York’s double jeopardy law from cases involving presidential pardons, according to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. The current law and the concept of double jeopardy in general mean that a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice.

Currently, New York state law prevents people from being prosecuted more than once for crimes related to the same act, even if the original prosecution was in federal court. There are already a number of exceptions to the law, and the letter says that Mr. Schneiderman is proposing to add a new one that could be used if federal pardons are issued.

“Long ago, the Supreme Court made clear that presidents cannot pardon for state crimes—now it’s time for New York law to do the same,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “By closing New York’s double jeopardy loophole, lawmakers can ensure that no one accused of breaking New York’s laws will escape accountability merely because of a strategically-timed presidential pardon.”