Some details unclear in Cuomo’s plan for 10,000 pardons
By Josefa Velasquez and Bill Mahoney
Politico New York
Dec. 22, 2015
ALBANY — Following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that he would be “conditionally pardoning” 10,000 individuals who committed nonviolent felonies or misdemeanors in their teens, there’s no consensus among legal experts on how the governor’s program will be implemented or how many people stand to be affected by it.
Alafair Burke, a criminal law and criminal procedure professor at Hofstra Law, said Cuomo’s move is part of a larger trend to mitigate problems those in the criminal justice system may have down the road.
“I would see it as a larger trend where people are starting to realize that as much as we’ve emphasized over the years the kind of zero tolerance approach to criminal prosecutions, the idea of early intervention and punishing small crimes, that there are collateral consequences down the road,” Burke said. “You want people to be employable, you want people to be part of the culture instead of outside of it. This seems to be as part of that larger picture of trying to be smart about law enforcement and still be aggressive about intervention but also trying to be a little more compassionate and allowing people to continue to live their lives after being part of the criminal justice system.”