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California Gov. Newsom Grants Pardons to Two Prisoner Firefighters Who Faced Deportation

HeadlineJun 03, 2021

California Governor Gavin Newsom has granted 14 pardons, 13 commutations and eight medical reprieves. Among those pardoned are two formerly incarcerated firefighters who faced deportation. Kao Saelee and Bounchan Keola were both born in Laos but brought to the United States as small children. Keola was incarcerated for over two decades after he was prosecuted as an adult for a crime he committed when he was just 16. He suffered a near-fatal injury battling California’s record-shattering wildfires last year. Saelee was transferred to a U.S. immigration jail last year to await deportation after completing a 22-year sentence for a robbery he committed as a teenager. Both men rejoined their families over the weekend.

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