Measure ensures New Yorkers get justice, even if president pardons criminals who break New York law
ALBANY, NY — April 8, 2019 — New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky today applauded the Senate for advancing his legislation to close New York’s “double jeopardy” loophole, which would ensure New Yorkers get justice for crimes committed in New York, even if the president pardons associates for federal crimes committed here. The legislation passed the Senate Codes committee and can now go before the full Senate for approval.
“We are one step closer to ensuring New Yorkers get the justice they deserve in their own courts, even if the president tries to intervene on behalf of friends, family, or cronies,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky. “I applaud the Senate’s Codes Committee for advancing this critical legislation. Now the full Senate and Assembly must act — and quickly — to ensure the double jeopardy loophole is closed before any presidential pardons rob New Yorkers of their right to justice.”
The Double Jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment of U.S. Constitution protects individuals from being prosecuted twice for the same federal offense. In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Benton v. Maryland that the Double Jeopardy clause also applies to the states. However, the Dual Sovereignty Doctrine, holds that there is no constitutional bar under Double Jeopardy to someone being prosecuted by the federal and state government for offenses arising from the same conduct. Notwithstanding the Dual Sovereignty Doctrine, Article 40 of New York’s Criminal Law grants additional protections for people already having been prosecuted by the federal government. Over the years, the state has created several exemptions to Article 40, today’s legislation would be one such exemption that would fix New York’s antiquated criminal law by creating an exemption from Article 40 for someone who was granted a pardon or commutation by the United States President.
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About Todd Kaminsky: As a federal prosecutor representing Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens, and as Acting Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Section, Kaminsky took down corrupt elected officials who used taxpayer dollars to fund lavish lifestyles. His successful prosecutions include State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr., Congressman Michael Grimm, and Assemblyman Jimmy Meng.
SOURCE: Halie Meyers, Director of Communications, NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky – 9th SD.