Continuing his tradition of considering the requests of felons for a second chance both at Christmas and Easter, Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday issued 72 pardons and seven sentence commutations for crimes ranging from burglary to being an accomplice in a murder.
The bulk of the actions by Brown, however, were for nonviolent drug crimes. Former prisoners who served time for those offenses have made up the majority of gubernatorial pardons since Brown took office in 2011.
The governor’s seven commuted sentences offer most of those involved a chance to be released from prison by the State Board of Parole Hearings.
Only one of the commutations will result in immediate release. Brown reduced the sentence of Maria Arriaga, a Los Angeles woman who was 18 when convicted of killing her newborn child. She was arrested after a suspicious hospital visit. Arriaga told doctors that the baby had been born at home, and did not bring the infant with her. Police later found the dead child at Arriaga’s home. She was convicted of second-degree murder and received a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
“She had hidden the pregnancy from her abusive boyfriend, her deeply devout Catholic parents, her sisters and her friends,” Brown wrote. “Ms. Arriaga’s conduct in prison has been exemplary and she has deep remorse for her crime.”
Full story at The LA Times.