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Mar. 27, 2024

Clemency is not a blanket power that the governor can use to impose his personal views

Clemency is a means to ameliorate or avoid particular criminal judgments in special cases. The statutory application procedures for clemency require Board of Parole Hearings, the district attorney, the victims, and the victims' families.

Ron Matthias

Retired prosecutor who specialized in homicide appeals during his 35-year career as senior assistant attorney general in the California Attorney General's Office.

David Carrillo and Brandon Stracener have joined Jason Marks and me in an ongoing conversation about the propriety of a possible future attempt by Governor Newsom to commute to life imprisonment the death sentences of 645 murderers―roughly two-thirds of whom are “twice-convicted” felons within the meaning of the state constitution. (Carrillo & Stracener, “Commute them all, revisited,” Daily Journal, Mar. 22; Matthias, “Clemency for death row felons would kil...

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