In New York, Push to Bypass Trump’s Pardon Power Gains Traction

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Jed Shugerman was quoted in an Observer article about President Trump’s claim that he has the power to self-pardon.

Jed Shugerman, a professor of law at Fordham University’s School of Law, told Observer that the values of double jeopardy “are very important” in order to curb against “abusive multiple prosecutions,” particularly for people with limited resources.

He said the proposed change keeps the core values and principles of double jeopardy and addresses the “very narrow question” of people who are pardoned “before they are held accountable” as opposed to “regular kinds of defendants.”

Shugerman said that under the federal rule, individuals can be prosecuted for a crime at the federal level once, as well as once at the state level. New York and a couple of states, he explained, have added to the federal rule to increase double jeopardy protections—a move he called “sensible.”

“It’s just that those provisions didn’t take into account that there might be a president who abuses the pardon power to take advantage of the double jeopardy statutes,” Shugerman said. “So that if a co-conspirator pleads guilty on the federal level and then gets pardoned, under current law, a New York prosecutor would be violating the state double jeopardy statute by starting a prosecution on those same underlying facts.”

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