Sunday, April 16, 2017

California: Notable Pardons, for Deportees

The Times of San Diego notes Governor Brown has granted pardons to three veterans who were deported:

Erasmo Apodaca, an honorably discharged U.S. Marine, was convicted of burglary (for breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house). After serving one year of his sentence, and being released early for good behavior, he was deported.

Marco Antonio Chavez Medina served honorably for four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, but was convicted of animal cruelty in 1998. He served 15 months of his prison sentence and was released early for good behavior. In 2002, an immigration judge categorized his offense as an “aggravated felony” and he was deported to Mexico.

Hector Barajas  served with the 82nd Airborne during Operation Desert Storm and was honorably discharged. But, as a civilian, he struggled with substance abuse and "a conviction for being in a car when a firearm was discharged." That got him two years in prison and deportation to Mexico.

The Times quotes someone as saying, "It’s the first time a governor has recognized and taken action to help deported veterans." If so, it would be a sad thing indeed. Historically, presidents have granted clemency with some frequency to persons to prevent / counteract deportation. And there is certainly no reason to expect that veterans have been / should be systematically excluded from those exercises. See full story here.

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