The reduced prison sentence that Arnold Schwarzenegger extended to a political ally's son stands in stark contrast to the former California governor's denial of clemency for dozens of inmates involved in similar crimes, says the Los Angeles Times. In one year alone, he overruled state parole board decisions to free 29 such inmates who had served long terms. They, like former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez's son Esteban, participated in crimes that left a victim dead but did not deliver the fatal blows.
Like the younger Nuñez, 11 of those inmates had no previous criminal record. Among the reasons Schwarzenegger frequently gave for reversing the parole board — a panel appointed by his office and dominated by former police and corrections officers — was that the victim had been killed over something “trivial.” In addition, the offender had demonstrated “callous disregard for human suffering,” often by fleeing the scene and leaving the victim to die, as Nuñez did after he and his friends drunkenly attacked a group of strangers on a San Diego street after being denied entrance to a fraternity party.