Gov. Andrew Cuomo should pardon political-vendetta victim John O'Hara
New York Daily News
Oct. 24, 2011
On this date 15 years ago, Oct. 24, 1996, Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes charged political gadfly John O'Hara with election fraud in a case that became a grotesque miscarriage of justice.
O'Hara's offense was to vote in several elections, each time casting a single ballot, using the address of his girlfriend's residence rather than the address of his own apartment. After three trials, Hynes won a conviction that withstood appeal.
Two years ago, the Appellate Division restored O'Hara's law license. A committee of attorneys found "grave doubts that Mr. O'Hara did anything that justified his criminal prosecution." The panel wrote, "Mr. O'Hara, accurately, it appears, claims that the machine went gunning for him."
He also recently regained admission to practice in federal courts, as it is widely now accepted that he was made a felon for no good reason.
Then-Gov. David Paterson came close to pardoning O'Hara but balked. Gov. Cuomo should deliver to O'Hara the clean slate he deserves.