Saturday, May 24, 2008

Looking Ahead

Chalk one up for the underdog. Slick Rick the famous rapper who did a stint in prison. He has been given citizenship declaring him a permanent U.S. citizen. Thus releasing him from the constant threat of being deported to another country. Though he has lived in America all his life. His parents are originally from Britain. It's ironic that the board of naturalization and immigration, in the midst of all the illegal immigrants in this country, would be willing to use the manpower and resources used to prosecute this individual. This is a prime example of someone being unfairly singled out. Not selective prosecution, he was definitely in violation. "Somebody else did it", is not an excuse.

He should thank God for the Spitzer scandal. Otherwise he might have been looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life. This has been going on for the last eleven years. Too bad he didn't sign a contract with someone like Irv Gotti instead of Russell Simmons. Irv lost his power and status taking a chance on a dope dealer. Russell took the money he made off Slick Rick, and went and got ganked somewhere else. "Nobody wants you when you're down and out." In spite of being Hip Hops hottest acts at one time. Once he got arrested the industry seemed to quickly forget him. There weren't any free Slick Rick rallies or standing room only crowds in the courtroom. There wasn't even a big coming home celebration by the industry either. It went pretty much unnoticed.

Governor David Paterson has made another visionary decision. For someone that's visually impaired, he certainly can see a lot. He managed to see the injustice here. This is the second time since taking office, he has made a surprising move. He seems to be doing things not so much for political points, but simply because they're right. He tends to see things that others don't. The truth of the matter is this. Slick Rick was old news. His receiving a pardon has brought new interest to the outcome of the case. He might be on his way back to the United Kingdom , if it weren't for Governor Paterson looking ahead.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rapper Slick Rick's pardon ends deportation threat
By Michael Gormley
Associated Press
Originally published 12:00 a.m., May 24, 2008
Updated 10:08 p.m., May 23, 2008

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Pioneering rapper Ricky "Slick Rick" Walters, who spent more than five years in prison on a 1991 attempted murder conviction and faced threats of deportation years after rehabilitating his life, was granted a full and unconditional pardon Friday by New York Gov. David Paterson.

Walters, 43, has been under threat of being sent back to his native United Kingdom, although he has lived in the United States since he was a child. In a statement, he expressed gratitude to Paterson and his lawyers and hoped that he could finally put the turmoil behind him.

"This has been a long and difficult road, and I am happy for this to be settled once and for all," Walters said. "I look forward to enjoying this time with my family and friends and to continue leading an honest and productive life."

In announcing the decision, Paterson noted Walters' commitment to helping young people.

The eyepatch-wearing star behind '80s rap classics such as "La-Di-Da-Di" and "Children's Story" was a successful rapper when he was convicted of shooting his cousin and another man in 1991. Both survived.

Although he had completed probation requirements in the attempted murder case and resumed his musical career, he was arrested again in June 2002. Immigration agents stopped him after he returned from a weeklong Caribbean cruise where he was a featured performer.

The arrest was on a 1997 Immigration and Naturalization Service warrant that had not been pursued earlier, and he spent 17 months in jail, despite calls for his release from such luminaries as Jesse Jackson, Will Smith and Chris Rock.

A federal judge eventually ruled in October 2003 that the Bureau of Immigration Appeals denied Walters' due process when it issued the warrant, but Homeland Security officials pressed forward in the case.

The Democratic governor noted that Walters is now a rap artist and landlord in the Bronx who has not had any other criminal problems since his release from prison and has volunteered at youth outreach programs.

2:59 PM  

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