Veteran rapper Ricky “Slick Rick” Walters received a full and unconditional pardon from New York governor David Paterson today (May 23) for the attempted murders of two men in 1991, apparently ending a long legal sega.
Walters has already served approximately five years in prison and was released in 1997 on parole and discharged in 2000. But he faces deportation under a federal statute mandating the removal of a lawful resident alien upon conviction of an aggravated felony or a weapon offense.
In 1995, an immigration judge ended Walters’ deportment proceedings but the decision was later overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Walters can still be deported despite Paterson’s pardon, which is expected to slow efforts to return him to the United Kingdom, the country he left at age 11.
“My family and I are eternally thankful to Governor Paterson, my attorneys and all of the people who have supported me throughout the past 17 years,” says Walters. “This has been a long and difficult road and I am happy for this to be settled once and for all. I look forward to enjoying this time with my family and friends and to continue leading an honest and productive life.”
Paterson said in a statement that Walters is now an artist and landlord in New York who has not had any criminal problems since his release from prison. Walters has also volunteered to counsel youths against violence.
Walters is best known for albums like “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick” and songs like “La-Di-Da-Di” and “The Art of Storytelling,” which have influenced artists such as Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and OutKast.