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Shyne Immigration Hearing Subject to Mercy of Harvard Law Professor

Shyne and Charles Ogletree

After serving an eight-year stint in prison stemming from an infamous 1999 assault incident, former Bad Boy artist Shyne finally caught a break when he was granted parole earlier this month. The rapper, a native of Belize, was officially released from prison on October 6th but immediately ended up back behind bars due to immigration issues. According to immigration laws, non-U.S. citizens who have served time for felonies are subject to immediate deportation upon completion of their sentence.

Since his release Shyne has been detained by immigration officials in New York State, but this weekend it was announced that his father, Dean Barrow, who is the Prime Minister of Belize has petitioned for his son to remain in the States. According to Shyne’s uncle Michael Finnegan, who is a member of the Belize parliament, Barrow appealed to New York City Governor David Paterson, seeking a pardon for his son. Finnegan announced that the petition has transferred the fate of his nephew’s immigration issues to the hands of Harvard law professor, Charles Ogletree, who is a friend of the Obama administration.

“All the lawyers who were dealing with his immigration problems, they are totally off the case now,” Finnegan said. “The matter is placed squarely in the hands of Professor Ogletree. All legal options or legal directions or whatever the case may be in terms of legal movements, these are now in the hands of Professor Ogletree.”

Finnegan went on to say that there was good faith that Ogletree would handle the situation properly. “He has stepped in totally, he was given permission to deal with the situation in all its aspect,” he said. “[Shyne's] father who is the Prime Minister is one of the best attorneys in this country and I would want to believe he has total confidence in Ogletree, and I believe the family knows what it is doing.”

Both Finnegan and Barrow maintain that if Shyne were to face deportation proceedings, he would be welcomed back home to Belize. Shyne relocated to Brooklyn, New York with his mother when he was 13-years-old.

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