Monday, April 23, 2018

I Actually Like New York’s Double Jeopardy Loophole The Way It Is, But We Can’t Have Such Nice Things

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to close New York State's double jeopardy "loophole," in a clear attempt to protect prosecutions from possible Trump pardons of his cronies. Normally, prosecutions at the federal level do not preclude prosecutions at the state level. But New York has this weird rule where jeopardy attaches for state purposes if a defendant pleads guilty or a jury is sworn-in even for a federal case, subject to a few exceptions.

It means, potentially, that a person — say, Michael Cohen — who is tried by federal prosecutors, convicted, and pardoned by President Donald Trump could not later be prosecuted for state crimes, even though the president technically has no authority to pardon state crimes.

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