Monday, January 3, 2011

California: A Tale of Two Clemency Applicants

The Los Angeles Times invites its readers to consider Exhibit A: Esteban Nuñez and Exhibit B: Kevin Cooper.

On his last night in office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted the 16-year prison sentence of Mr. Nuñez to 7 years. In 2008, Nuñez participated in a knife fight on a college campus and a 22-year old man was killed. But Nuñez's father, was a former speaker of the house in the State and is currently a business partner with the Governor's chief political advisor. Says the Times:
The younger Nuñez is no prince. He and his friends went looking for a fight after being kicked out of a campus frat party, and according to prosecutors, Nuñez stabbed two other victims, who survived. He also allegedly destroyed evidence by burning clothing worn on the night of the fight and throwing knives into the Sacramento River. 
On the other hand, the Times feels Kevin Cooper (on death row) is "worthier" of clemency - despite the fact that "his dad never smoked cigars with the governor." There are  "significant doubts raised by a federal judge about the fairness of [Cooper's] murder conviction" and yet Schwarzenegger "ignored the considerable evidence in Cooper's favor. " As a consequence, "California may soon be guilty of executing an innocent man." See full editorial here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As predicted earlier, there is more to write on this single pardon than any of Obama's nine. Maybe in the near future, Bush will be convicted of crimes against humanity and only then will conservatives want to compromise in exchange for the pardon.

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