Gov. Jerry Brown Pardons 5 Cambodian Refugees Facing Deportation

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Governor Jerry Brown speaks during a press conference at the California State Capitol on March 7, 2018, in Sacramento, California. (Credit: Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

Governor Jerry Brown speaks during a press conference at the California State Capitol on March 7, 2018, in Sacramento, California. (Credit: Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

The Latest on clemency actions by California Gov. Jerry Brown (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has pardoned five refugees from Cambodia and another immigrant from Honduras who faced the possibility of deportation because of their criminal convictions.

The pardons were among more than 250 clemency decisions announced by the governor on Christmas Eve.

According to Brown’s office, the five Cambodians entered the country when they were 5 or younger.

The pardons don’t automatically stop deportation proceedings, but they eliminate the state convictions on which federal authorities might base deportation decisions. That gives the men’s lawyers strong legal arguments before immigration judges to try to prevent their removal from the country.

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4 p.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has issued 143 pardons and 131 commutations on Christmas Eve.

Brown has a tradition of granting clemency requests on or near Christian holidays.

Brown has now issued 283 commutations and 1,332 pardons since 2011. That’s far more pardons than any California governor since at least the 1940s. He issued 404 pardons and one commutation during his first two terms as governor from 1975-1983.

This is expected to be Brown’s last round of clemency action as governor. But he has until he leaves office Jan. 7 to act.

People receiving pardons Monday include Louis Honig, a former state superintendent of public instruction convicted in the 1990s on conflict of interest charges, and two people from Paradise who lost their homes in the recent wildfire.

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3:45 p.m.

California Gov. Jerry Brown is ordering new DNA tests that a death-row inmate says could clear him in a 35-year-old murder case that has drawn national attention.

Brown on Monday ordered new testing of four pieces of evidence and named a former judge as a special master to oversee the case.

Kevin Cooper says the new testing will show he was framed for the 1983 Chino Hills hatchet and knife killings of four people.

Prosecutors say previous tests show Cooper killed Doug and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter Jessica and 11-year-old neighbor Christopher Hughes.

New York Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and reality television star Kim Kardashian are among those who urged Brown to authorize new tests.

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