NYS Senate to look at Cuomo's use of pardons
Aug 06, 2018 11:30 am
Brendan J. Lyons is reporting for the Times Union the state Senate plans to convene hearings soon to look at Gov. Andrew Cuomo's use of criminal pardons and what majority Republicans allege is a trend of violent offenders being released from prison by the state parole board. Senate staffers said they found instances in which dozens of sex offenders who underwent reviews by the governor's office were issued conditional pardons. Some of those, they said, were cleared by the governor's office to receive the pardons, but then arrested for new crimes. The cases that have been highlighted by Senate Republicans include Cuomo's decision to grant a conditional pardon to Herman Bell, who was released from prison despite being sentenced to up to life in prison for murdering two police officers in 1971. Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, said other states grant voting rights to people on parole. In New York, he noted, the Legislature has declined to deal with the issue or the inequity of New York laws that allow people on probation to vote, but not those on parole. "This is not a radical proposal, this is just something that the Legislature specifically refused to deal with and we did it using our existing powers," Azzopardi said. The hearings will be overseen by Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, Repubican of Elma, chair of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee. Gallivan is a former member of the state parole board. The hearings have not yet been scheduled. Read the full story in the Times Union.