Schwarzenegger Commutes Núñez Manslaughter Sentence


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"About my son..."

Governor Jerry Brown is in. The Terminator is out, but not before making some controversial last moves. FORMER Governor Schwarzenegger took it upon himself before packing up and leaving Sacramento to commute prison sentences including that of Esteban Núñez – the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez . In case you missed the news, back in 2008, a drunken fight broke out in San Diego when Esteban Núñez and his friends got stab happy following a confrontation at a Frat party. As a result, Luis Santos was fatally stabbed in the heart and died in a pool of blood. In the trial that ensued, Núñez, was initially charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in a deal that ultimately netted him a sixteen year prison sentence – more than he bargained for. His friend, who was found to have delivered the deadly blow, was also given the same sentence.

"I'll show your son how to really knife someone"

This political “mauve” moment runs horribly afoul. Everyone knows that Former Republican Governor Schwarzenegger and Democratic ex-Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez are buenos amigos! In justifying the action of reducing Esteban Núñez’s prison sentence from 16 years to 7, the Terminator said, “I do not discount the gravity of the offense, but given Nuñez’s limited role in Santos’ death, and considering that … Nuñez had no criminal record prior to this offense, I believe Nuñez’s sentence is excessive.”

The family of Luis Santos was angered by the move as the Los Angeles Times reported:

“We are totally outraged,” said Fred Santos, the father of Luis Santos. “For the governor to wait until the last day in hopes it would fly under the radar is an absolute injustice.”

He said the family was not warned about the impending commutation and learned about it Sunday from reporters. “The governor did not even have the courtesy to notify the victim’s family,” he said. “This is dirty politics: cutting backroom deals. I guess if you’re the son of somebody important you can kill someone and get all sorts of breaks.”

OJ readers, what do you think?

Was Governor Schwarzenegger right to commute the sentence?

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