Governor David Paterson announced that he was pardoning Ricky Walters, aka hip-hop artist "Slick Rick," for his 1991 attempted murder and weapons convictions. Walters, who was born in the U.K. moved to the Bronx when he was 11 (he lives in the Bronx now), served more than five years in prison but has been threatened with deportation in recent years.
Walters shot his cousin and a bystander--who survived their wounds-- in 1991; Walters believed his cousin, who had threatened him on other occasions, had tried to kill him once before. From Paterson's statement:
Mr. Walters has fully served the sentence imposed upon him for his convictions, had an exemplary disciplinary record while in prison and on parole, and has been living without incident in the community for more than 10 years. In that time, he has volunteered at youth outreach programs to counsel youth against violence, and has become a symbol of rehabilitation for many young people. Given these demonstrated rehabilitative efforts, I urge federal immigration officials to once again grant Mr. Walters relief from deportation, so that he is not separated from his many family members who are United States citizens, including his two teenage children.”
Walters, who is a landlord and rap musician, said, "My family and I are eternally thankful to Governor Paterson, my attorneys and all of the people who have supported me throughout the past 17 years. This has been a long and difficult road and I am happy for this to be settled once and for all. I look forward to enjoying this time with my family and friends and to continue leading an honest and productive life."