Supervisors vote to back commutation notice legislation
City News Service
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to support legislation that would require the governor to provide 30 days notice before he shortens a sentence for a convicted criminal.
Assembly Bill 648 would require the governor to give the relevant district attorney 30 days notice about any commutation and have the district attorney notify the family of the victim.
Prosecutors, victims and their families would then have a chance to respond against or in favor of a change to the sentence.
The bill co-authored by assemblymen Marty Block, D-Lemon Grove and Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego was introduced in response to ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reducing by more than half a sentence for the son of a former Assembly Speaker convicted in a fatal, Oct. 4, 2008, stabbing at San Diego State University.
On his last day in office, Schwarzenegger cut Esteban Nunez’s sentence from 16 years to seven years, without notifying the parents of the victim, 22- year-old Luis Santos.
Nunez is the son of former Assemblyman Fabian Nunez, who was Assembly Speaker for part of Schwarzenegger’s term.
Board Member Pam Slater-Price called Schwarzenegger’s commutation a “reckless act.”
“It reeked of political favoritism,” she said.
AB 648 would also require the governor to deliver a written report, including the prisoner’s application for commutation, to the Legislature and make those documents part of the public record.
Esteban Nunez pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a drunken knife-fight near San Diego State University.
Santos’ parents said they did not know about the commutation until a reporter called for comment.
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