Crime & Justice

Governor announces 105 Christmas Eve criminal pardons

California Governor Jerry Brown.
California Governor Jerry Brown.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Governor Brown on Wednesday issued 105 pardons to criminals convicted of felonies in California.

“The individuals granted pardons all completed their sentences and have been released from custody for more than a decade without further criminal activity,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Some of those pardoned committed relatively minor crimes: In 1972, Efrain Angel Garcia “threw a whiskey bottle through the skylight of a pawn shop in LA,” according to the governor's office. He served nearly three years on probation for burglary. 

Others committed more serious crimes: In 1996, Narciso Johnny Espinosa stabbed his brother in the arm during a fight. He did nearly a year in prison for assault with a deadly weapon. 

Some of the crimes they committed are now misdemeanors under Proposition 47, which voters approved in November. Many involved minor drug offenses, ranging from simple possession to cultivating marijuana.

The governor declared that each person has been rehabilitated.

Each “has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character and conducted himself (or herself) as a law abiding citizen,” the governor said in the statement.

Clemency restores many rights to a felon, including the right to serve on a jury trial and restoration of firearms rights. It does not expunge the record of the offense nor disallow it from being used as a prior conviction in sentencing for a future crime.

Here's more on what a pardon means for someone.

Here's the full list of people who were pardoned.

In another interesting case, the governor pardoned Anong Baker for the crime of soliciting to commit murder in Merced in 1992. No other details of the case were released.

Brown has issued nearly 500 pardons during his four years in office. Governors Schwarzenegger, Davis and Wilson issued just 29 pardons among them over a 20-year period when looking tough on crime paid off more at the polls than it does now.