Esteban Nuñez, son of the former Assembly speaker, had been sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the October 2008 stabbing death of a student during a fight near San Diego State. The governor's executive action, announced on his last day in office, commutes the sentence to seven years. Schwarzenegger's statement notes that Nunez did not inflict the fatal knife wound, but was involved in the fight. The case has been sensitive all along due to the influence held by Nunez's father. From today's LAT story:
"I do not discount the gravity of the offense," Schwarzenegger's statement said. "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."
Fabian Nuñez, a Democrat, grew close to the governor while speaker. The two worked together to pass the state's landmark global warming law, which was a signature achievement of Schwarzenegger's time in office. Fabian Nuñez is a business partner of the governor's chief political advisor at the consulting firm Mercury Public Affairs.
“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.”