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Even the California Supreme Court has said enough is enough when it comes to Governor Jerry Brown.
Specifically, when it comes to his record number of clemency orders he has issued.
Because while Governors are usually granted wide authority to issue pardons, the California Supreme Court has taken the extraordinary step of REJECTING many of Brown’s recent orders.
Talk about a slap in the face!
Also talk about finally having the rule of law re-established in California, because I’m pretty sure the families of the victims of those people who Brown wants to release from jail are not in agreement with these commutations.
Thank goodness the Supreme Court wasn’t either.
From the San Fransisco Chronicle, Gov. Brown is said to have set a record for pardons and commutations in California during his recent term as Governor:
When Jerry Brown was governor from 1975 to 1983, he pardoned 404 convicted criminals, removing the convictions from their records, and granted one commutation, shortening a prisoner’s sentence.
But during his past eight years in office, he has granted 1,189 pardons and 152 commutations, far more than any other governor in modern California history.
“The atmosphere, the gangs, the hopelessness, sentences that are so long ... the no-exit attitude has made it virtually impossible to have any strong rehabilitative atmosphere,” Brown said in an interview. “This has given me the interest, where I can, in instilling hope.”When asked what has changed, Brown pointed to another set of numbers: California had 12 prisons and about 25,000 inmates in 1975. By 2011, thanks to tough-on-crime changes that imposed fixed-term sentences, mandatory prison time for certain crimes, and long increases for repeat offenders, the state had 173,000 inmates in 35 California prisons and some private lockups in other states, a population since reduced to 128,000 by federal court orders and new laws.Along the way, Brown said, California prisons became places of punishment and despair, with dwindling prospects of turning lives around to prepare inmates for release to the free world.
Yeah, you don't say Jerry!
Prison a place of punishment?
That's kind of the point you DUFUS!
My goodness, what is wrong with this guy?
Watch this from Fox News:
And from the Sacramento Bee:
The California Supreme Court this week rejected three more of Gov. Jerry Brown’s recommendations to commute sentences of longtime prison inmates who he believed had reformed behind bars, including a Sacramento man who beat a man to death in 1997.
The court in recent weeks now has denied 10 of Brown’s clemency actions, the first time it has exercised that power in half a century.
The latest denials followed Brown’s annual Christmas Eve clemency actionsthat included 143 pardons and 131 commutations. Nine of the 10 inmates whose commutations were rejected had been convicted of participating in homicides.
Brown’s clemency actions are part of his effort to rethink prison sentencing in his second run as California governor. He has sought to provide more opportunities for parole, aiming to give inmates incentives to improve themselves while in custody. He has also handed down more pardons and commutations than any other California governor.
Jameel Coles, 40, of Sacramento took every opportunity he could to gain education and to mentor other inmates since he was sentenced to life in prison 20 years ago for his role in slaying a Merced County man who had agreed to give him a ride, according to Brown’s Legal Affairs Office.
Cole participated in self-health groups, enrolled in college courses, and expressed regret for his actions.
“Hurt people, hurt people,” he wrote when he applied for clemency. He told the Governor’s Office that “shame and guilt lead to a cycle of hyper-masculine choices,’ which was “compounded due to the fact that this hyper masculinity was shaped by a false image of manhood, which glorified a criminal lifestyle and misogyny.”
He worked as a chaplain clerk for more than six years, excelled in slam poetry competitions and secured two associate of arts degrees, one in social and behavioral science, Legal Affairs Secretary Peter Krause wrote.
The Supreme Court did not explain its decision to deny Coles’ commutation. The Board of Parole Hearings referred Coles’ clemency application to the governor with a favorable recommendation.
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye signed the rejection. Justice Goodwin Liu voted in favor of the recommendation, according to the court.
Nathaniel Thompson crossed paths with Coles on Dec. 4, 1997. Coles, his friend Dave Parker and three teenage girls were stranded in Merced County. Thompson agreed to give them a ride, according to archived stories by The Modesto Bee.
Thompson’s body was found the next day — beaten, suffocated and burned using kerosene from a lantern, law enforcement officials said.
Krause, Brown’s attorney, used blunt language to describe the crime in the recommendation to commute Coles’ sentence.
“In 1997, at age 19, Mr. Coles and his crime partner stole a van, beat the van’s owner to death, then set the victim’s body on fire.”
During the 2000 trial, Coles said he kicked Thompson. He denied that he delivered fatal head blows and allegations that he hid evidence.
Coles at his trial said he could not leave the scene when his friend began assaulting Thompson. “Going back home, if people found out I did that, I’d be in a lot of trouble.”
Parker, also of Sacramento, was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. The two girls who pleaded guilty to murder were sentenced to the California Youth Authority while the third was released after time served.
Then-Merced County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Cooke read an emotional prepared statement at the trial on behalf of Thompson’s stepdaughter, Brenda French:
“My stepfather pleaded for his life ... but no compassion or mercy was given to a man who had shown kindness to strangers.”
The court reviews clemency recommendations related to inmates who committed multiple felonies. This week it approved three of Brown’s orders.
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