New California pardon law may help those facing deportation

LOS ANGELES — A new California law is expected to speed up the state’s criminal pardon process in a move that advocates hope will offer relief for some facing the possibility of deportation.

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed into law a bill that requires the state parole board to consider an expedited review of pardon applications from individuals at risk of deportation.

The law also requires the board to issue recommendations within a year of receiving a pardon application and to notify individuals when their application is received and when a recommendation is issued. There are currently no statutory requirements for how long the parole board has to review or issue recommendations for pardon and commutation applications. The law is slated to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.