California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom pardoned three criminals who are immigrants because he wanted to prevent them from being deported to the countries they were born in.
“The California Constitution gives the Governor the authority to grant clemency, including in the form of a pardon,” his office said in a statement. “A clemency grant recognizes a persons subsequent efforts in self-development.”
“A clemency grant does not forgive or minimize the harm caused by the crime. A pardon may remove counterproductive barriers to employment and public service, restore civic rights and responsibilities, and prevent unjust collateral consequences of conviction, such as deportation, and permanent family separation. A pardon does not expunge or erase a conviction.”
Pardons dont necessarily mean a criminal wont be deported but they show the person has attempted to rehabilitate him or herself and remove one incentive to deport the felon.
The three immigrant felons were named as 42-year-old Arnou Aghamalian, an Iraqi native; 38-year-old Victor Ayala, an El Salvadorean native; and 41-year-old Thear Sam, a Cambodian native.
“They are now trusted employees, husbands, fathers to young children and sons to aging parents, the governors office said. “Their deportation would be an unjust collateral consequence that would harm their families and communities.”
Aghamalian was convicted of helping a relative set a car on fire. The vehicle belonged to a nightclub owner who was in an argument with Aghamalians cousin, the governors office said.
Ayala was convicted of felony robbery after assaulting a security guard while shoplifting from an electronics store. He had four prior convictions for misdemeanors, including theft and hit-and-run, according to the office.
According to Spectrum News, Sam was convicted of helping a friend steal a car and served two-and-a-half years in prison. Sam told the broadcaster he hung out with people “who were helping me out” in the ongoing battles between “Mexicans and Asians.”
Sam was put on probation after stealing a backpack from a child when he was 18.
“I didnt learn my lesson just because I got slapped on the wrist. I helped a friend steal a car from San Francisco. Drove it back down towards San Luis Obispo where I got arrested again. This time around, I ended up doing two and a half years for that,” said Sam.
Newsom also pardoned 59-year-old Curtis Reynolds, an American who was convicted of six drug felonies, including possession and possession for sale, and commuted the sentenced of two additional men, 44-year-old Esdvin Flores, who pointed a gun at a woman during a robbery in 1999; and 35-year-old Jensen Ramos, who fired a gun at a fleeing vehicle after a fight broke out at a party in 2002.
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