California Gov. Newsom Commutes Sentences For 12 Convicted Murderers
Sacramento, CA – California Governor Gavin Newsom granted commutations to 12 convicted murderers on Friday, many of whom were serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.
He also commuted the sentences of nine other imprisoned violent offenders.
“The California Constitution gives the Governor the authority to grant clemency, including in the form of a commutation. A clemency grant recognizes a person’s efforts in self-development, rehabilitation and prospects for successful community reentry,” Newsom’s office said in a statement.
“The Governor weighs numerous factors in his review of clemency applications, including an applicant’s self-development and conduct since the offense, whether the grant is consistent with public safety and in the interests of justice and the impact of a grant on the community,” according to the statement.
Allen Burnett was 18 years old when he and two accomplices carjacked Joseph Kondrath in 1992, according to his clemency certificate. Kondrath was fatally shot by one of the co-defendants during the attack.
Andrew Crater was convicted of first-degree murder for his role as the mastermind behind a string of armed robberies that left musician Jim Pantages dead in 1995, The Sacramento Bee reported.
Jacoby Felix was 18 years old when and his accomplices attempted to carjack Richard Harper in 1993, according to his clemency certificate.
Harper refused to hand over his keys and took off on foot, so Felix chased him down and fatally shot him.
Theodore Gray and his accomplices committed a series of armed robberies in 1999, leading to a shootout with homeowner Vincent Fontecchio. Fontecchio was fatally shot during the exchange of gunfire.
Crystal Jones has served 20 years of a life sentence for a 1999 drug-related homicide of James Randall.
Jones stabbed Randall, and her co-defendant fatally shot him.
Marcus McJimpson was sentenced to two life terms for fatally shooting Scott Walker and Vernon Clark during an argument in 1988.
Adonis Muldrow was 15 years old when he and his 26-year-old co-defendant committed a string of armed robberies in 2012. Muldrow’s accomplice fatally shot Rory Park-Pettiford during the final robbery.
Muldrow and his co-defendant both opened fire on police during the vehicle pursuit that ensued, but the officer escaped injury.
Maurice Nails fatally shot Robert Benjamin after a brawl outside a nightclub in 2007.
Alladin Pangilinan and his accomplices committed a slew of gang-related offenses in 1995, culminating with the murder of Sonny Ago.
Doris Roldan hired the two hitmen who murdered her husband, Fernando Roldan, in 1983. She is now 80 years old.
Bryant Salas and his accomplices participated in a gang-related altercation in 2007, which ended in the stabbing deaths of Christopher Cheng and Kevin Fu.
Luis Velez was 26 years old when he murdered an armed guard Harold Payne during a robbery in 1991.
The California Supreme Court will decide if the commutations will be rejected or upheld, according to The Sacramento Bee.
“Do the math,” Senator Jim Nielsen recently said, according to the California Globe. “Forty thousand used to be in custody. Tens of thousands used to be on parole and used to be supervised – and now they are getting away with it.”
Newsom said that it is his “responsibility” to help “incentivize accountability and rehabilitation,” according to the statement released by his office.
He claimed that such commutations also “increase the safety of the people working and serving sentences in our jails and prisons, increase public safety by removing counterproductive barriers to successful reentry and correct unjust results in the legal system.”