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NY State Senate Examines Governor's Use of Pardons

September 7, 2018, on Criminal Defense Articles |

Conviction for a criminal offense can affect future opportunities that last long after you've served your sentence. An Albany felony attorney can provide you with help in fighting conviction so you don't have to deal with criminal penalties and cope with the aftermath of a guilty verdict. An attorney can also offer assistance fighting for expungement or fighting for the sealing of your record if you want to try to move forward in the aftermath of a conviction.

While having your record sealed or expunged can be beneficial, a pardon can be an especially effective way to get a clean slate. However, pardons must come from the governor.

In recent years, Governor Andrew Cuomo has provided conditional pardons to hundreds of people in order to make it possible for them to vote. Now, however, the state Senate has indicated it is convening hearings in order to address whether the governor is acting properly or is putting New Yorkers at risk.

Senate is Probing Pardons Issued by Cuomo

Recently, Times Union wrote about the controversy surrounding the pardons being issued by the Governor. According to Times Union, Senate Republicans believe that Cuomo may be using has pardon authority so broadly that he is creating a risk of danger. In fact, a review of some of the recent pardons Cuomo has issued were granted to paroles who Republicans say went on to commit new crimes that resulted in their re-arrest.

In one particular case, Republicans point to a 22-year-old who was given a conditional pardon after he was released on parole. The 22-year-old had been convicted of the rape of a 15-year-old. He was then re-arrested for a new offense of raping a girl under the age of 17 and was sent back to prison shortly after being pardoned.

Senate republicans indicate they have found dozens of cases in which sex offenders were cleared for pardons but re-offended. They intend to draw attention to this risk in a yet-to-be scheduled hearing. At the hearing, they also intend to look into what they describe as “leniency” on the part of the parole board when determining whether to grant parole to convicted felons who have been incarcerated for violent crimes.

The attention being paid to pardons and the scrutiny of the parole process could result in officials becoming more wary of giving offenders a second chance – which could hurt efforts at criminal justice reform and attempts to address the mass incarceration caused by individuals being forced to serve long prison sentences even after having been rehabilitated.

Although the governor has been generous in granting conditional pardons for voting purposes, a criminal conviction on your record continues to be a major hindrance to future opportunities. You should fight against charges when you are accused of wrongdoing and an Albany felony attorney will work hard to help you try to avoid conviction in situations where you are facing charges and could be found guilty of an offense that will affect your record going forward.  To find out more about how an attorney can help you, give us a call today.

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