Lawmakers approve advance notice of commutations
The state Legislature on Monday passed a bill requiring advance notice to prosecutors and crime victims before a governor commutes prison sentences — a change sought after ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger granted an eleventh-hour reduction for the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez.
The legislation, which requires 10 days' advance notice by the applicant for the reduced sentence, was approved unanimously by the state Assembly and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration. It was previously approved by the state Senate.
The change was sought by San Diego Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis, who was not notified in advance of Schwarzenegger’s decision to reduce the sentence for Esteban Nuñez from 16 years to seven in a case involving the slaying of a college student.
“This measure allows victims, their families and district attorneys to have a voice in the commutation process,” said Assemblyman Marty Block (D-San Diego), the author of AB 648.
-- Patrick McGreevy