Gov. Brown issues 65 pardons over Easter

April 1, 2013 at 11:08 AM
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SACRAMENTO, April 1 (UPI) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown issued 65 pardons to criminals over the Easter holiday, including three convicted killers, officials said.

Brown issued the pardons Saturday, maintaining his tradition of issuing pardons tied to Christian religious days, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Brown's pardon of Robert Phillip Brown, who had served time for a 1977 murder conviction, offered no information about his crime or his case for clemency, except to say the former convict had a 2012 Superior Court order testifying that since his release from prison, "he has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen."

The governor also granted clemency to Francisco Nunes, who served a two-year prison term for a 1996 involuntary manslaughter conviction in San Diego County, and James Vercillino, convicted in 1987 of vehicular manslaughter in Santa Clara County.

The remaining 62 pardons involve drug-related convictions, the Times said.

Brown, a Democrat, granted 128 pardons in 2012, surpassing the 16 pardons and 10 commuted sentences his predecessor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed in seven years in office.

A statement by the governor's office Saturday tied the latest round of pardons to "the eve of Easter." When he was a younger man, Brown spent four years studying to be a Catholic priest.

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