Gov. Jerry Brown issued his annual list of pardons and commutations on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018.
Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP
Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown pardons 143 felons, issues 131 Christmas Eve commutations

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued 143 pardons and 131 commutations Monday, CNN reported, bringing his career total to 1,736 and 284 respectively.

The Christmas Eve clemency requests have become a tradition for Brown, who leaves office next month after serving as the state’s governor for the past eight years as well as from 1975 to 1983.

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Brown also ordered new testing of DNA in a high-profile 1983 quadruple murder, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento Bee reported the state’s Supreme Court has intervened for the seventh time in recent weeks, rejecting one of Brown’s Christmas Eve commutations.  

In addition to Monday’s rejection, the California high court also denied Friday night clemency requests for three men convicted in fatal shootings; two sentence commutations issued in November; and another clemency request earlier this month, the Bee reported.

All but one of his commutations and more than three-quarter of his pardons have been offered during the past eight years of Brown’s tenure, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The second chances, he told the Chronicle, are part of a concerted effort to decrease prison overcrowding.

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