ALBANY, NY -- Governor David A. Paterson has announced that he pardoned three individuals who are subject to deportation as a result of prior criminal convictions.
"After announcing the creation of a special pardon panel to address anomalies and injustices emanating from the often arbitrary manner in which Federal immigration laws are implemented, we received more than 1,100 applications," Governor Paterson said. "I wish time had permitted us to act on more of these requests, as injustice is prevalent. The individuals pardoned today committed past offenses but have paid their debts to society and are now making positive contributions to our society."
The individuals who received pardons include:
• Khamsay Chanthavilaychit received a pardon for an August 2003 conviction for the Class A misdemeanor of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, for which he was sentenced to a three-year term of probation. Chanthavilaychit was brought to this county at age two, as a war refugee from Laos, and he has been gainfully employed for the last 16 years. He is currently facing removal after being placed in proceedings when he applied for and was denied naturalization.
• Aqustin Prado was convicted of the misdemeanor offense of seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance in 1993, for which he was sentenced to a conditional discharge and performed five days of community service. In the 17 years since this conviction, he has led a law abiding life, is a home owner, and is married and the father of two young daughters.
• Clint Ramos was convicted of four counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree in June 2001, and he was sentenced to five years on probation. At the time of his conviction, Ramos was severely drug addicted, but he has since overcome that addiction and has been a sponsor for more than 10 persons in recovery. Ramos has become an award-winning costume and set designer and is well-known and respected in the New York Theater community. His pardon application has received overwhelming support from numerous members of that community, who describe him as a brilliant and innovative artist as well as an asset of real value to the American theater.