NY Pardons for Juveniles

NY Governor Cuomo’s new pardon program is essentially a work-around for the legislature’s failure to act in raising the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18. Only NY and North Carolina currently charge 16 to 18 year olds as adults. Cuomo announced the program in 2015, for former offenders who committed a nonviolent crime when they were 16 or 17 and have stayed conviction-free for at least 10 years. Anyone convicted of a sex crime does not qualify, and pardons can be withdrawn if the recipient is re-convicted. The first group of 101 pardons was announced this Dec. 30. The governor’s office estimates at least 10,000 people qualify for the program – so far they have received 260 applications.

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