The New York State Attorney General wants to prosecute Americans pardoned by the president by scrapping the Constitution’s “double jeopardy” protections from the Fifth Amendment.
Barbara Underwood, who replaced the last AG accused of battering women, claims the Fifth Amendment allows a “double jeopardy loophole” by preventing Americans from being charged for the same crime following a valid acquittal or conviction for the crime.
“President Trump’s latest pardon makes crystal clear his willingness to use his pardon power to thwart the cause of justice, rather than advance it,” she said in a statement. “By pardoning Dinesh D’Souza, President Trump is undermining the rule of law by pardoning a political supporter who is an unapologetic convicted felon.”
“Lawmakers must act now to close New York’s double jeopardy loophole and ensure that anyone who evades federal justice by virtue of a politically expedient pardon can be held accountable if they violate New York law.”
In other words, she’s trying to strip the president of executive powers expressively written in the Constitution, which would also harm Americans who are pardoned for a crime – but then charged with that crime or a similar one in New York.
She’s using well-known political luminaries like D’Souza to make her argument, but it’s the average, pardoned Americans the media glosses over who would suffer the worst.
What’s also shocking is that “double jeopardy” is one of the oldest legal concepts in Western civilization, dating back to before Christ.
“…Law forbids the same man to be tried twice on the same issue,” wrote the Athenian statesmen Demosthenes in 355 BC.
Even the Byzantines codified “double jeopardy” during the reorganization of existing Roman laws under the Justinian Code in 533 AD.
But, for Underwood, a 2500-year-old legal code is easily scrapped if it won’t stop Trump.