"Mr. O'Hara has been seeking a pardon for years, but even with a Monty Python absurdity for a criminal case has been unable to secure one. He was the first New Yorker since Susan B. Anthony in the 19th Century to be prosecuted for casting a ballot."
The New York Times — January 24, 2013
Read editorial here
Lawyer Convicted for Illegal Votes Revives Bid for Pardon
New York Law Journal
Breaking News: Susan B. Anthony revisited — former Judge Eileen Nadelson represents O'Hara in new pardon bid to Gov. Cuomo
A groundbreaking exposé of O'Hara's fight for justice for Judge John Phillips
A Life in Court: Friendship and Corruption Inside the Brooklyn System
by by Alysia Santo, The Brooklyn Ink
Statement by actor Holt McCallany
I’ve known John O’Hara my entire life. We grew up together and my fondest memories are the summers I spent as a boy helping him with his political campaigns.
O’Hara was indicted by the Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles Hynes, for a crime that the New York Daily News editorial board called a “prosecutorial jihad”. John was charged with registering to vote, and voting. He didn’t vote twice in the same day, nor did he vote from a false address. His crime was that he had two apartments in the same neighborhood he’s lived in for his entire life, and the one he voted from was not his “principal and permanent” residence. Charged with seven felony counts, John was facing 28 years in prison for voting. The last person to be tried for “illegal voting” took place in 1873 in Rochester, New York. The defendant in that case was Susan B. Anthony.
Confined by probation for 5 years, fined $20,000, disbarred as an attorney and ordered to do 1,500 hours of community service, John never became bitter or disillusioned. But he also never gave up.
The case of People –v– O’Hara has became one of the most expensive criminal cases in New York’s history. John’s only real crime was refusing to bow to the crown of the corrupt party machine. An act for which he should be honored, not condemned.
|Capital Tonight interview with John O'Hara|
Statement by actor Chris Noth
On Election Day, thousands of New Yorkers, including myself, could be subject to felony prosecution when we cast our vote. This is because of a precedent set by the case of the People v. John O’Hara. O’Hara’s story has been chronicled in Harper’s Magazine, in scores of articles in the New York Times and in every major daily, and even overseas in the pages of magazines like the New Zealand Herald.
Because of the dangerous precedent created by the O’Hara prosecution, anybody with two or more homes can face prison time if they vote. Students living out of dormitories and homeless people can go to jail for voting.
This petition is asking Governor Cuomo, to correct this injustice with a pardon for John O’Hara. This is not a liberal or conservative issue, it’s about justice.