Schwarzenegger Grants Commutation on Final Day in Office

Update: Gov. Arnie also commuted the sentence of a woman serving life for killing her former pimp to 25 years with parole, and 7 pardons, 1 conditional pardon and one additional commutation. The full list is here.

Today is California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's final day in office. On this final day, he granted a commutation of sentence to the son of the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, who had pleaded guilty to participating in the stabbling death of a college student. He was not the stabber, and had no priors, but received a maximum 16 year sentence. Schwarzenegger said the sentence was excessive and reduced it to 7 years. [More...]

In October, the judge refused to reduce his sentence, saying he had no jurisdiction because the case was on appeal.

More reductions and pardons are anticipated tonight:

[Schwarzenegger] also announced he was granting several other commutations and pardons and giving plum government appointments to political allies and the spouse of his chief of staff.

It's now Jerry Brown's turn. We'll see if he does any better on sorely needed prison reform and is smart enough to demand and implement effective prisoner reentry programs as a way of cutting costs and investing in future safety.

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    Such a shame that commutations and pardons (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 02, 2011 at 10:17:56 PM EST
    are no longer considered a routine part of a governor's (or the President's) responsibilities, to be granted frequently and regularly in deserving cases (not only those involving well-connected applicants) throughout the term of office, as they were until only a decade or so ago in most jurisdictions.

    Pretty audacious of the Governor to (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 02, 2011 at 08:34:35 PM EST
    commute the sentence of Nunez' son.  Is the Governor hoping to attract Latino voters to the GOP?

    I've got (none / 0) (#7)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jan 03, 2011 at 04:53:33 PM EST
    friends in high places. (it's not quite a country song)

    at least it is done (none / 0) (#3)
    by kgoudy on Sun Jan 02, 2011 at 11:21:07 PM EST
    I don't are about the politics, and I bet the beneficiaries don't either. thank heavens the commutations and pardons occurred.

    At least Arnold (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 03, 2011 at 01:54:23 AM EST
    did give some pardons to drug offenders today. And some for violent crimes. All had long served their sentences, and the central theme seemed to be they had rehabilitated themselves by volunteer work, several for police agencies.

    Will that be the next litmus test? If you want a pardon, you better get heavy into volunteer work with a law enforcement group, beause when they write you letters of support, it carries more weight?

    I'd like to use most anything that reduces taxes (none / 0) (#8)
    by thereyougo on Tue Jan 04, 2011 at 09:13:26 AM EST
    I'm in California, the most populist state,with the most prisoners, in mostly crowded prisons and funding (or lack of)for more.

    Do I think some crimes belong on the community service track? Yes. Especially crimes of theft under a dollar ceiling created by a formula, much like other crimes sentencing.
    For example, if the crime was theft caught at a 711 convenience store, under a specific dollar amount say $50, I think restitution by community service cleaning toilets at the local public whatever or the smelliest gas station would be an excellent way of reminding the perpetrator that stealing is not to be tolerated.

    I would venture that the memory of a smelly latrine would deter future theft.

    I have done community service for  meter parking violations, which in the bay area is $55 a pop. 2 tickets which is easy to get, doubles it and it keeps going up if you dont pay by the deadline, etc. Its a total outrage. But I was happy to perform a service at the local public museum for a specific number of hours in restitution.

                                                However, others who were on public assistance were not. They had to serve a number of hours as a condition of collecting their stipends. There is no free lunch and I believe people gain personal value from performed labor. Work is not a punishment because it enhances self esteem more than it punishes and that is what prisons fail to do at a huge cost to the taxpayer.

    I am convinced it would be a win for everyone involved. It certainly would be cost effective.