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Kari Rein – One small step toward justice

My original post back in January…

From the Oregon Register-Guard:

[Kari] Rein, 42, and her husband James Jungwirth, 41, a U.S. citizen, have lived in Williams, near Grants Pass, for 15 years. They run an herb and seaweed
harvesting business and have a 14-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son.

11 years ago, Rein was convicted of growing six marijuana plants for personal use and received probation and community service. The judge at the time said he was confident it was for personal use,

“And I’m also satisfied that the two of you are people who are capable of
being productive and are being productive in society,” the judge continued,
“and I don’t think at this point that jail really serves any benefit to
anyone.”

Here’s the tragedy —
Kari Rein is an immigrant, and immigration officials now (11 years later) want to send her back to Norway.

According to Rein’s attorney, immigration officials say the conviction
qualifies as an aggravated felony and mandates deportation under 1990s
immigration rules that have received souped-up enforcement since the Sept.
11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Six pot plants over a decade ago, and you send a wife and mother away from her home? Does this government have ANY sense of morality?

This week’s news:
Oregon governor pardons woman facing deportation to Norway
Kari just found out on Monday. This really is great news. I’m sure Kari and her family are very excited. And I am personally relieved that in this case justice triumphed, but I’m still outraged that it even became an issue.
And I got pissed off one more time with the statement made by the governor’s office:

“In this case, Kari Rein met all the qualifications,” said Mary Ellen Glynn, a spokesman for the governor. “She has expressed remorse. She was no threat to public safety. She has been a model citizen prior to this event and since that time.”

What I wanted to hear from the governor’s office was “Well, duh! It would be monumentally stupid not to pardon her in these circumstances.” Instead, it’s this self-righteous “Well, at least she’s shown remorse for her horrible crime of growing six plants eleven years ago.”
A pardon isn’t enough. She should get an apology, and have her legal fees paid back to her.

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