Cuomo signs law weakening double jeopardy law
Oct 17, 2019 12:41 am
Marina Villeneuve of the Associated Press reports in the Troy Record that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law Oct. 16 loosening double jeopardy rules so the state can still prosecute any criminals pardoned by a president. New York's broad double jeopardy law was unclear on the issue, but the new law is more explicit. State prosecutors will now be able to bring charges against someone committing a crime in the state even if that person has received a federal pardon. The bill was passed by the state legislature in May. A few days ago, lawyers for President Donald Trump's campaign chairperson Paul Manafort told a judge that their mortgage fraud case against him amounts to double jeopardy. Presidents can't give pardons for state crimes, so the law may be unnecessary. Ian Farrell, professor of constitutional law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, said, "The whole point of this law is to prevent a president from saying to his associates: 'Don't worry. If you get charged under federal law, I will pardon you, and then you aren't in danger of any state law charges, so there's no reason you have to flip.'" Read more about this story in the Troy Record.