Thursday, December 3, 2009

New York: Some Clemency History

A the "City Room" New York Times blog, A.G. Sulzeberger writes about the "tradition" of "second guessing" clemency decisions. The piece notes that presidential hopeful Alfred E. Smith's clemency decisions received a world of criticism and, afterward, Mario Cuomo and George Pataki simply stopped granting pardons altogether while they had an eye on the Oval Office. Among other interesting things, the piece notes:
Still the second-guessing of the governor’s clemency decisions has become something of a December ritual. Clemency decisions were announced exclusively at Christmas time until 1975 when the process was broadened to allow reviews year-round, according to an article by the former legal counsel to Mr. Carey. Still since 1980 clemency has been granted in December more than two thirds of the time.

See entire piece here.

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