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Governor pardons youth advocate for crime committed more than 50 years ago

Posted at 11:33 PM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 02:33:09-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Governor Jerry Brown pardoned a local San Diego activist for a drug crime committed more than 50 years ago.

Rachael Ortiz was one of the 143 pardons Brown granted on Christmas Eve. Brown also granted 131 commutations.

Ortiz was arrested for possession of heroin and was sentenced on or about February 18, 1965, according to the pardon. She served eleven months in prison and three years, eleven months of parole. She was discharged in 1970 and turned her life around.

Ortiz says she came involved with activist groups across the state and worked for change on issues that affected people of color. She also took a huge role in the Barrio Logan community through her work at the Barrio Station, a non-profit aimed at counseling and helping at-risk youth.

Ortiz called the pardon “a Christmas miracle.”

She expects the pardon to restore all rights as a citizen and she hopes it will help her in case she needs to take a more public role in helping preserve the Barrio Logan community.