Gov. Gavin Newsom, citing deportation risks as a major factor in his decision, pardoned a woman originally convicted of murder in San Diego 22 years ago.
Ny Nourn was paroled in 2017, according to a VICE story chronicling her conviction and subsequent release. However, she was re-jailed by immigration authorities only a few months later and faced deportation to Cambodia.
Nourn faced first-degree murder and arson charges for the Dec. 23, 1998, killing of David Allen Stevens, her boss at a Miramar dating service.
She initially received a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. She was 18 at the time of Stevens’ death.
Prosecutors alleged Nourn lured Stevens, 38, out of his apartment, where he was shot to death by her then-boyfriend, Ronald Barker, and then burned in his car.
Defense attorneys alleged she was a victim of Battered Women’s Syndrome, and forced by Barker to call Stevens outside. Barker, they said, became enraged after discovering she had slept with her boss.
An appeals court overturned Nourn’s conviction. A new jury convicted her of second-degree murder in 2008. She received a sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.
Newsom’s pardon notes that Nourn, currently an activist and community advocate with the Asian Law Caucus, “has demonstrated that she is living an upright life and has demonstrated her fitness for restoration of civic rights and responsibilities.
“Ms. Nourn has also presented evidence that a collateral consequence of her conviction, namely, her impending deportation and permanent separation from her family and removal from her community, further justifies this exercise of executive clemency.”
In a statement posted on the organization’s website, Nourn described her relationship with Barker as “abusive,” saying she was a teenager at the time who was “trapped” in her relationship “with a much older man.”
Following time served in state prison and immigration detention, Nourn said she joined the Asian Law Caucus “as a Yuri Kochiyama fellow, a fellowship created for formerly incarcerated immigrants.”
Regarding her pardon, Nourn wrote, “I am grateful to Gov. Newsom for his pardon & I want to ask him to extend clemency to other currently and formerly incarcerated refugees, immigrants & survivors facing deportation like I was. CA can take a step in the right direction & stop the prison to ICE pipeline.”
– City News Service
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