The Michigan Parole Board has agreed to review nine requests for pardons coming from Iraqi nationals facing deportation.
The cases are among nearly 70 requests that were forwarded to the board by Governor Rick Snyder. Most of them are from Iraqi Christians who say they face persecution, torture, or murder if returned.
Ari Adler is the governor’s communications director. He says the governor asked the board to move swiftly on the cases under review.
“Usually, pardon requests like this with a full investigation by the parole board can take six to nine months, but when we sent things over to the Department of Corrections, we asked if they could accelerate this because of the unique circumstances, and I believe they have.”
Adler says the board has not ruled out a full review on the rest of the pardon requests.
The Iraqis seeking pardons were detained because they have some type of criminal records.
In most cases, the offenses occurred many years ago. A federal judge temporarily halted the deportations last month.