Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New York: Is It the Process? Or the Decision Maker?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s has announced that he will grant two pardons that will "clear the records of two foreign nationals whose legal permanent residence status in the U.S. has been threatened by their criminal convictions." It is reported that other persons "have been out of prison for years, and have devoted themselves to good works since leaving incarceration." Says Cuomo:
“These two individuals have been an active and engaged part of the New York community since completing their sentences and deserve a second chance without fear of being separated from their families through deportation ... The positive contributions to society by both of these individuals in the years since their release support the case for justice to be delivered through clemency, and I am pleased to take this action today.”
Cuomo has been famously merciless and neglectful of his constitutional duty to participate in the State's system of separation of powers and checks and balances by ignoring the pardon power.  The result has been criticism from "editorial pages and social-justice groups" but very little in the way of pardoning.

Today's pardons go to 62 year old Antonio Argibay (convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance in 1979) and 33 year old Alvaro Khalil Cumberbatch (convicted of robbery in 2003).

Cuomo has also announced the creation of a new website to "centralize" requests for clemency, which, reportedly, have dropped "from a high of 1,269 applications in 2010 to 171 applications in 2014" ... as though the problem is with the process, and not the decision maker.

See more on this story here.

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