Schwarzenegger commutes sentence of former Assembly Speaker’s son

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In one of his last official acts as the governor of California, actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger granted a commutation to the son of political ally and former California Assembly Speaker, Fabian Nuñez.

The son, Estaban Nuñez, was serving 16 years on a murder conviction, an already reduced sentence as part of a plea bargain. Nuñez pleaded guilty to charges including voluntary manslaughter in connection with the fatal stabbing of 22 year-old college student, Luis Dos Santos, and being part of a conspiracy to cover up the crime.

Nuñez and some friends fought with others near a San Diego fraternity house in 2008 in which Santos was killed. Nuñez was cleared of stabbing the student who died in the attack, although he admitted to stabbing another man, who survived.

Schwarzenegger claimed the sentence of 16 years was excessive and reduced it to 7 years, saying that it was unfair that Nuñez, who had no prior record, received the same sentence as the stabber who actually killed Santos.

The victim’s family was not told in advance of the decision to reduce the sentence, which was sent to the press via email. “I guess if you’re the son of somebody important, you can kill someone and get all sort of breaks,” said Fred Santos, father of the victim.

Schwarzenegger also reduced the sentence of a Sara Kruzan, a former prostitute who killed her pimp in 1994 when she was 16 years old. Her sentence was reduced from life in prison without parole, to 25 years to life with the possibility of parole.

Schwarzenegger also granted unconditional pardons to nine people convicted of relatively minor offenses.

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