New York statutes currently create problems bringing charges against defendants for state crimes when they’ve been charged with federal crimes and pardoned by the President. Follow through the link on Natasha Bertrand’s tweet to read the document Schneiderman filed.
New York Democrats technically hold a super majority so it should pass but I am perplexed this wasn’t done more quietly last year. NY has a problem with a number of Democrats who vote Republican. In fact some of these Democrats are under investigation for being on the Republican party dole.
Please note: I’m including the NYTimes excerpt below.
New York Attorney General Seeks Power to Bypass Presidential Pardons
Under the plan, Mr. Schneiderman, a Democrat, 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.
Right now, 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.
While Mr. Schneiderman’s jurisdiction does not encompass many of the areas being investigated by Mr. Mueller, a president has no authority to commute sentences or pardon offenses at the state level. That leaves convictions obtained by the state attorney general’s office or any other local prosecutor outside the president’s ability to intervene. The proposal would be structured so that it would not affect people who sought clemency after long jail sentences, an aide to Mr. Schneiderman said.
If the proposed law is passed, anyone indicted on state charges after being convicted in federal court and then pardoned would likely challenge the state law in court. But Mr. Schneiderman wrote in the letter that he and his advisers were confident the legislation would withstand any constitutional scrutiny.
Trump can dodge federal crimes with pardons — but not state law
By Asha Rangappa
Robert Mueller’s investigation is a federal investigation that is proceeding on two tracks: a counterintelligence track and a criminal track. Most of what is discovered in the former may never come to light, given that it is based on classified methods and sources. But what Mueller uncovers in his criminal investigation will become public in the event that he brings criminal charges. President Trump, however, could undercut this possibility by granting pardons to the targets of Mueller’s investigation if they are convicted. He could even pardon Mueller’s targets preemptively, leaving potential prosecutions of federal crimes dead in the water before they even begin.
Unfortunately for Trump, the story may not end there. This is because a legal principle called “dual sovereignty” allows a state (or multiple states) to prosecute people for the same crimes as the federal government, if the conduct constitutes a crime and was committed in that state.
This is true even if the person has already been tried by the federal government.
Under the dual sovereignty principle, the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition on double jeopardy — which prevents the government from trying someone twice for the same crime — doesn’t apply if the second trial is by a different “sovereign” — in this case, the state.
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