Gov. Brown Pardons, Commutes Sentences for 150 Criminals

At the end of 2017, Governor Jerry Brown announced pardons or sentence reductions for about 150 convicted criminals, including eight cases whose crimes were committed in San Diego County. In total, the governor pardoned 132 people and commuted the sentences of 19 people.  This included pardons for about 60 people convicted of making, selling, or possessing drugs, including marijuana. Only one of the cases from San Diego county was a commutation.

Amongst the cases of pardons, was that of Jeremy Stewart, who was convicted in 2010 for burglarizing two homes and stealing thousands of dollars worth of property. Under the three strikes law, he was sentenced to 70 years to life in prison. His prior convictions included other burglaries, petty theft, receipt of stolen property, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to Brown’s commutation, Stewart acknowledged his criminal history and a drug addiction. He has been a model prisoner and during his incarceration received a degree in social and behavioral science from Coastline Community College. As a result, he will be released on parole, with the support of the Board of Parole Hearings.

What is the Difference Between a Sentence Commutation or Pardon?

Most governors in all 50 states have the power to grant pardons or reprieves for criminal offenses under state law. A pardon wipes out the conviction and makes it so the crime effectively never happened, while a commuting of a sentence merely reduces the sentence.

How to Apply for a Pardon

Instructions on how to apply for a pardon can be found on the state of California website. To be considered, an applicant must have been discharged from probation or parole for at least 10 years without further criminal activity during that period. There is no fee for applying for a pardon.

Additionally to qualify for a pardon, you must be a resident of California, and the conviction must be from the state of California. The Governor of California cannot grant a pardon for a conviction from another jurisdiction, such as another state or a federal proceeding. The first step in applying for a pardon is to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation from the Superior Court in the county where the applicant currently lives. If the Court issues a Certificate of Rehabilitation, the certificate is forwarded to the Governor’s Office where it automatically becomes an application for a pardon. Once an application is submitted, the review process must take place. If the governor decides to take action, the applicant will be notified.

San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney

The Law Office of David M. Boertje handles all misdemeanor and felony criminal cases, including criminal infractions, fines, and crimes that come with jail time. We are dedicated to protecting your constitutional rights and freedom, and have successfully represented many defendants, including those who have been charged with making criminal threats. We will also assist you in cases of expungement, records reduction, and your request for a pardon. If you have been charged with a crime, contact attorney David Boertje today for a free and confidential consultation. We look forward to providing you with superior criminal defense representation.