News and Events for Attorneys and Executives

Accepting a Pardon From Trump Could Add Booster Rockets to State Prosecutions

By on February 23, 2018 in Criminal Law, Government

Individuals who are hoping for a preemptive pardon from President Trump for any role they may have had in criminal activity should be aware that they run a significant risk that acceptance of a pardon would be used by state prosecutors as an admission of guilt.

Writing for, New York University School of Law professor Ryan Goodman explains that a president’s pardon power applies only to federal crimes, leaving that individual liable for state crimes that cover the same underlying conduct.

“Officials like New York’s [Attorney General Eric] Schneiderman may feel they have an ace in hand if they can walk into a state courthouse with a defendant’s admission of guilt implied by having accepted a presidential pardon,” writes Goodman. “This get-out-of-federal-jail card comes at a price.”

He cites a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that acceptance of a pardon carries with it a “confession of guilt.”

Read the article.