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Lawsuit Challenges Schwarzenegger Commutation of Ally's Son



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, July 11, 2011

Just before leaving office, Schwarzenegger reduced the sentence of Esteban Nunez for his involvement in a stabbing death from 16 years to seven. Esteban's father, Fabian Nunez, is a former Assembly Speaker who worked closely with Schwarzenegger.  The victim's family is suing Schwarzenegger under a voter-approved initiative called Marsy's Law.  The suit says the commutation should be reversed because Schwarzenegger acted without consulting the family.  After the court hearing, Fabian Nunez told reporters the commutation was legal.

Nunez: "I read Marsy's Law several times. I voted for it.  There's nothing in Marsy's Law that makes any indication whatsoever that the governor's commutation powers are altered in any way, shape or form."

Nunez also said the case against his son was politically motivated.  That infuriated the victim's family, which was standing a few feet away.

Santos: "Oh, do I want to respond to that!  Funny the politician, Fabian Nunez, said that this was politicized!"

Fred Santos is the father of victim Luis Santos:

Santos: "He's the one with the weight, with the pull that made a sitting governor break the law and reduce his son's sentence. That's the political process that he's talking about. Yes, it is politicized, but by him - not by us."

The family's attorney believes the commutation DID violate Marsy's Law - but this is the law's first test in court.  The next hearing is in early August.

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