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Cleared years ago, Martin Tankleff 'seriously' mulls Congress run

Martin Tankleff after a court appearance in 2008.

Martin Tankleff after a court appearance in 2008. Credit: David L. Pokress

Martin Tankleff, who served 17 years in prison for the murder of his parents before the conviction was vacated in 2007, says he’s considering a run for Congress.

“I’m exploring the idea. It’s not a joke. I’m definitely serious,” Tankleff, of West Babylon, said in an interview.

He announced his interest via his Twitter account with the name @xoner8ed.

“Marty Tankleff for Congress...what do you think? #tankleff #tankleffforcongress #congress,” the tweet read.

Tankleff wasn’t sure when first contacted if he was registered with a political party or whose district he lived in. Records show he is registered without party affiliation and lives in the district of Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford). He said he’d seek to run as a Democrat.

“I have a very unique background,” Tankleff said. “I think I can relate to the common person. I know many people have been victimized by the system. Not just the criminal justice system, but the education system, for example.”

The former Belle Terre resident was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison in 1990 after being convicted of killing his parents, Arlene and Seymour Tankleff, in 1988. His conviction was overturned by an appeals court in 2007 and the state attorney general's office decided in 2008 not to retry him. Last year, he settled a false-imprisonment lawsuit with the state for a reported $3.375 million.

If a congressional run doesn’t work out, he’d also consider a run for local office, he said.

He graduated from Touro Law School last May. After a time as a legal assistant at the Garden City firm of Barket Marion Epstein & Kearon LLP, he left as speaking engagements at colleges and law enforcement groups came up, he said. He testified last month in Albany on a state bill to require videotaping of all police interrogations. He also is considering other projects as he awaits results from his bar exam.

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