<< Jump-Starting California's Death Penalty | Main | DNA: Still Guilty, After All These Years >>


Arnold's Buddy Commutation Stands

| 1 Comment
A lot of us in California had great hope for change when the Governator blew into office, but he slid downhill and ended on an especially ignominious note.  He granted a commutation to the son of a former Speaker of the Assembly, just because the ex-Speaker was his buddy.  The son had already received leniency in the form of a manslaughter conviction for an act that was probably murder.

The victim's parents filed suit to attack the commutation.  Today, the SacBee reports, Sacramento Judge Lloyd Connelly denied relief.

From the bench, Connelly said that even though he found the commutation of Esteban Núñez "distasteful," "repugnant," and "outside the normal realm...of fundamental justice," he said that the executive authority of the governor gives the office the right to make such decisions.

"It's a discretionary right," Connelly said of the governor's power to commute sentences. He added that the people, through the state constitution, have given the governor the right "to make decisions outside the normal criminal justice process."

That is completely correct.  As repugnant as the result is in this case, this is a fundamental separation of powers matter.

1 Comment

Leave a comment