New York State Senate to Vote to Close ‘Double Jeopardy’ Pardon Loophole

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Kaminsky Bill Will Allow Criminal Trump Associates to Be Prosecuted in NY Even If Pardoned

Todd Kaminsky is a Democratic member of the New York State Senate, representing District 9.

ALBANY, NY — May 7, 2019 —  Tomorrow, May 8, 2019,  the New York State Senate is set to pass legislation, sponsored by Senator Todd Kaminsky, to close the “Double Jeopardy” loophole and ensure that Trump associates can be prosecuted in New York, even if presidentially pardoned. Kaminsky, a former federal corruption prosecutor, introduced the bill (S.4572) to allow New York prosecutors to hold corrupt officials accountable, regardless of whether the President issued them a pardon.

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report provided disturbing, new evidence of the President’s plan to improperly use the pardon power to help his associates and undermine the rule of law,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky, a former federal corruption prosecutor. “I am pleased the Senate will take up my legislation to close the Double Jeopardy loophole and crack down on corruption. No one — not even the President and his inner circle — is above the law, and I urge the Assembly to pass this vital piece of legislation in an expeditious fashion — justice demands no less.”

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 selectively incorporated the Double Jeopardy clause to the states. See e.g. Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784 (1969). However, under the dual sovereignty doctrine, there is no constitutional bar under the Double Jeopardy clause for a criminal to be prosecuted by both the federal and state government for offenses arising from the same conduct. See e.g. United States v. Lanza, 260 U.S. 377 (1922). Notwithstanding the dual sovereignty doctrine, New York Criminal Procedure Law § 40 grants additional protections for defendants who were already prosecuted by the federal government, even if they were later pardoned. 

Senator Kaminsky’s bill would allow state prosecutors to bring charges — even if a presidential pardon was issued — if the President has a clear conflict of interest with the defendant, such as a current or former staff member, appointee, or family member. The measure also covers instances in which the defendant provided a material benefit to the President, or possesses information central to an investigation of the President.

About Sen. Kaminsky:

Prior to his service in the Legislature, Senator Kaminsky served as a prosecutor for more than a decade. As an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Section, Kaminsky took down corrupt politicians who swindled taxpayer dollars to fund lavish lifestyles. His successful prosecutions include former State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Assemblyman Jimmy Meng and Congressman Michael Grimm.

SOURCE: Halie Meyers, Director of Communications, NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky – 9th SD.


eHeziNew York State Senate to Vote to Close ‘Double Jeopardy’ Pardon Loophole

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