Susan B. Anthony revisited — former Judge Eileen Nadelson represents O'Hara in new pardon bid to Gov. Cuomo
September 21, 2011
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
New York State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
Pursuant to Article IV, Section 4, of the New York State Constitution, the Governor of New York has the enviable “power to grant … pardons after conviction, for all offenses except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations, as he or she may think proper ….” New York has always been in the forefront of permitting the chief executive, in his sole discretion, to mitigate what may be deemed a harsh and inflexible punishment. In fact, New York was one of only few of the original states where the pardoning power rested with the governor. See, N.Y. Const. of 1777, art. XVIII. Most states have since followed.
This petition is respectfully submitted on behalf of Mr. John O’Hara, who was convicted for a harmless mistake under the exceptional circumstances of a historical anomaly. The conviction is his first and only infraction of the law and has left devastating effects in its wake. He was cut off from his legal career and political aspirations early in his professional development, fined heavily, and served three years probation with 1,500 hours of community service. All this for casting his vote over a period of one year from an address deemed not to be his “principal and permanent” residence...