New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday that would allow the state to prosecute those who have been pardoned by the president. This law closes a loophole that previously protected those individuals from state prosecution.
The governor stated, “No one is above the law and New York will not turn a blind eye to criminality, no matter who seeks to protect them.” He states that this bill will allow prosecutors to “stand up against any abuse of power” and to prevent “politically motivated, self-serving action.”
The bill (S.4572/A.6653) was introduced by New York Attorney General Letitia James, and provides a thirteenth exception to the state’s double jeopardy law that would allow state criminal laws to “apply to individuals who receive a presidential pardon and also have a connection with the president either by family or close professional relationship, or through a narrow set of other criteria.”
The bill is effective immediately and, unless the person has already been tried or entered a plea, applies to past offenses as well as future ones.