Congratulations, rap pioneer Ricky "Slick Rick" Walters! You won't have to spend the summer on one of those sad, gray half-assed "beaches" of your native England, because the Governor of New York has granted you a full, unconditional pardon for your 1991 attempted murder conviction! "Walters, 43, has been under threat of being sent back to his native United Kingdom, although he has lived in the United States since he was a child. In a statement, he expressed gratitude to Paterson and his lawyers, and hoped that he could finally put the turmoil behind him. 'This has been a long and difficult road and I am happy for this to be settled once and for all," Walters said. "I look forward to enjoying this time with my family and friends and to continue leading an honest and productive life.'"

"The eye patch-wearing star behind '80s rap classics like 'La-Di-Da-Di' and 'Children's Story' was a successful rapper when he was convicted of shooting his cousin and another man in 1991. Both survived.

"'Mr. Walters has fully served the sentence imposed upon him for his convictions, had an exemplary disciplinary record while in prison and on parole, and has been living without incident in the community for more than 10 years,' [Governor] Paterson said. 'I urge federal immigration officials to once again grant Mr. Walters relief from deportation, so that he is not separated from his many family members who are United States citizens, including his two teenage children.'" [AP]