Saturday, August 18, 2018

California governor grants pardons to 3 facing deportation

By DON THOMPSON

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday he pardoned three former prisoners facing the threat of deportation to Cambodia, including one who became a youth pastor after serving six years in the 1990s for murdering a rival gang member.

The three were among 36 pardons granted by Brown within the past week. He’s also commuted the sentences of 31 current inmates who can now seek speedier paroles.

Among the pardons are Cambodian refugee Vanna In, who entered the United States at age 3. He served six years for the murder of a fellow gang member at age 17 but was released in 2001.

He subsequently started Jobs of Hope for former gang members, which Brown’s pardon says has “helped dozens of individuals to turn away from gangs and become law abiding, productive citizens.” He also became a youth minister at a Mennonite Brethren church and hundreds wrote to the governor attesting to his rehabilitation.

“While the seriousness of the crime can never be minimized,” Brown wrote, “I believe that Mr. In should be permitted to have the chance at remaining in a community to which he has devoted a life of service.”

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