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Brown pardons mostly target drug offenders

By
From page A6 | December 25, 2013 | 9 Comments

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown issued 127 pardons on Tuesday, the vast majority of them to people who had been convicted of drug dealing, cultivation or possession.

Typical of the handful of crimes that were not direct drug offenses is that committed by a Humboldt County woman, who was convicted in 1995 after she broke into a home to steal food so she could feed her children.

A statement from the governor’s office said all those granted pardons had completed their sentences and had been released from custody for more than a decade without committing additional crimes. The Democratic governor said he issues pardons to those who earn them by demonstrating “exemplary behavior” and living productive lives.

A gubernatorial pardon does not erase a conviction but rather restores certain rights, such as allowing the person to serve on a jury. It also gives them the ability to own a gun, unless they had been convicted of a crime involving a dangerous weapon, and allows them to work as a county probation officer or state parole agent.

Brown has granted 341 pardons since taking office in 2011.

The practice was relatively commonplace until the 1990s. Ronald Reagan, a Republican, granted 574 during his two terms as governor while George Deukmejian, a Republican and former state attorney general, granted 325 during his two terms.

The practice declined after that. Former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, who was elected to the first of his two terms in 1990, granted just 13 pardons, while former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued 15. Gray Davis, a Democrat, issued no pardons before he was recalled from office in 2003, partway through his second term.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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Discussion | 9 comments

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  • B Cayenne BirdDecember 25, 2013 - 7:54 pm

    All of these people have completed their sentences? Out of hundreds of thousands destroyed lives all he could come up with 127 pardons? Disgusting. Are the people who were completely innocent in the first place included on this list or is this an actual act of mercy? How about showing some remorse for the 350 to 450 inmates who die every year due to prison overcrowding and mismanagement from the stupid sentencing laws Brown imposed when he was Governor before? Pardon me, I am not impressed. It's a piffling gesture compared to the enormity of the problem. The "offender" who killed the most people is Jerry Brown.

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  • DeannaDecember 25, 2013 - 10:02 pm

    What about the people who have long met their parole requirements and are constantly denied parole? No one was released from prison for Christmas and many deserved to be!!! Especially the 12 people on death row who should have already been exonerated because DNA has proven them innocent. I give Gov Brown little credit for giving long time parolees a chance to further themselves in life and not constantly have the parole board rules and regulations hanging over their head BUT, these people have already been out of prison for many many years........This is nothing more than a PR stunt to make Gov. Brown look compassionate when if he was compassionate he would have eased prison crowding and given pardons to inmates who have already served more than enough time, some are elderly and no way any danger to society, he left them behind bars and decided to waste our time pardoning parolees who have been out and functioning in society relatively well and that is a good thing but, not good enough when people are suffering in prison because of overcrowding. What a shame. Congrats to the people who get a new lease on life without the constant threat of returning to prison for any mishap. But, shame on you Gov. Grinch Brown!

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  • BettyG123December 26, 2013 - 5:16 pm

    They did their time and now they want the incident gone from their lives not all over the internet. I believe a pardon by definition is to forgive someone...so pardon would have been release some of the old feeble and disabled,the 12 people found innocent that are still in prison, some of the mentally ill that should be in a hospital getting mental care, some of the third strike inmates that are serving 25 to life for stealing pizza,batteries and the like now those would have been pardons. This is just someone trying for publicity that they did something good for someone their conviction still stays on their record. Sad that the opportunity was here for a real pardon of some deserving folks but it wasn't granted.

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  • DeeActivistDecember 27, 2013 - 2:07 pm

    No one was released, even though there are TWELVE innocent people sitting on death row costing us taxpayers millions of dollars a year......Even though the prisons are severely overcrowded and costing taxpayers money to house non-violent offenders who should be out and monitored via GPS ankle bracelet monitoring, NO ONE was released! Im not giving Gov. Brown any credit for being compassionate, he continues to defy a court order to relieve overcrowding, he gets a chance to redeem himself and throws it in the trash! These pardons were given to parolees who have been out of prison for many years and yes they deserved the parsons but, why is the Governor getting all this credit when he is letting innocent people rot in prison? Is the media educated on the harsh conditions in the California prisons? If I had wrote this article I would have included facts about the people that should have been released from prison, isn't if fair reporting to report both sides?

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  • nina courtneyDecember 27, 2013 - 2:17 pm

    The governor could do so much more. He could restore all the rights that all citizens have. There are thousands of collateral consequences to a criminal conviction and it is no wonder that re leased inmates can't survive on the outside when they are semi citizens. Also the Governor could work on sentence reformation. Present day sentencing is the fuel to the prison conveyor belt. Work on eliminating mandatory minimums, indeterminate sentencing, stacking of charges which make people accept plea deals.

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  • Moe RamseyDecember 27, 2013 - 2:46 pm

    Pardoning some prisoners under some circumstances is good and all. But unless real reform is enacted, none of this matters much in the long run.

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  • B Cayenne BirdDecember 27, 2013 - 4:32 pm

    No was one released! P.R. scam by Brown trying to pretend that he's a good guy. Once again, no one was released.

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  • Gina BurnsDecember 27, 2013 - 9:51 pm

    Jerry Brown is known not to have any compassion or will to let anyone out of prison changed or not. His regime as well like Pete Wilson are the foundation of the Prison Industrial Complex. All the hype about pardons are ploys to win your votes ~ just another one of his cons

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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