Esteban Nunez's Manslaughter Sentence Reduction by Schwarzenegger Challenged in SoCal Court

He called Democrats girly men and took money from corporate interests while decrying good-ole-boy ways of Sacramento. But perhaps nothing Arnold Schwarzenegger did while governor was more arrogant that slicing 9 years off of the 16-year manslaughter sentence of 22-year-old Esteban Nunez, son of powerful former assembly speaker Fabian Nunez.

The move enraged the parents of his victim, 22-year-old Luis Santos, fatally stabbed in a drunken attack at San Diego State University in October, 2008.

Now the D.A. in San Diego is seeking to overturn Schwarzengger's commutation.

Bonnie Dumanis is taking the matter to Superior Court, arguing that Arnold did it wrong when he failed to notify the family of Santos, as would have been apropos under the California Crime Victims' Bill of Rights (a.k.a. "Marsy's Law"), that Nunez was going to see his time reduced.

She rips the gov for turning the power to commute into a personal favor. The D.A. told reporters yesterday (via the San Diego Union-Tribune):

We believe a governor who is considering a commutation has a constitutional duty under Marsy's Law to include the voices of victims In this case, this clearly didn't happen.

Historically, the governor was entrusted with this power to represent the conscience of the community and to ensure against miscarriages of justice. Not as quote, 'a favor to a friend.

That last bit was referring to a Newsweek piece that quoted the governator as admitting that he cut Nunez's sentence as a favor to his papa.

The victim's family is suing the state over the commutation.

Read all the details of how the stabbing went down, here.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]


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