Monday, December 6, 2010

New York: Paterson Pardons

It is reported that Governor David A. Paterson has pardoned six individuals subject to deportation as a result of prior criminal convictions. Another individual is said to have "demonstrated extraordinary rehabilitation during her 20 years of incarceration." In a statement, Paterson said his pardons addressed "shortcomings in our Federal immigration laws." More specifically, the Governor said such laws "are often inflexible, arbitrarily applied, and excessively harsh, resulting in the deportation of individuals who have paid the price for their crimes and are now making positive contributions to our society." He added that his pardons were an "attempt" to "achieve fairness and justice for deserving individuals caught in the web of these laws." Said Paterson:
"That immigration officials do not credit rehabilitation, nor account for human suffering is adverse to the values that our country represents ... I have selected cases that exemplify the values of New York State and that of a just society: atonement, forgiveness, compassion, realism, open arms, and not retribution, punitiveness and a refusal to acknowledge the worth of immigration. I will not turn my back on New Yorkers who enrich our lives and care for those who suffer ... The age of terror and disruption, with its accompanying anxieties, should not cause us to lose our way to justice. We punish transgression, but we are obliged to do it in balance and with fairness. We long ago decided not to exact retroactive penalties, nor be arbitrary and capricious in the application of universal standards. Yet the implementation of our immigration laws is random and often cruel. I stand against that."
These are the first pardons granted under the special Immigration Pardon Panel process created by Paterson earlier this year. See story here.

1 comment:

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