As the Trump administration ratchets up criminal prosecutions and efforts to deport undocumented immigrants and legal residents with criminal convictions, the San Francisco Chronicle opines that Gov. Jerry Brown has doubled-down on exercising his power to grant clemency and demonstrate his belief in the power of redemption.
On Saturday, the governor issued 132 pardons and 19 commutations, including pardons to two men, Mony Neth of Modesto and Rottanak Kong of Davis, whose past criminal convictions made them targets for deportation to Cambodia.
In April, he pardoned three veterans who had served honorably in the U.S. military but then were deported to Mexico after serving time for various crimes. A pardon technically creates a path to avoid deportation.
With these actions, Brown has granted 1,059 pardons and 37 commutations during his last two terms as governor, far outstripping his predecessors, Govs. Pete Wilson, Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (15 pardons, 14 commutations combined), and his father, Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown (467 pardons, 55 commutations).
So the crime tsunami sweeping California, and especially the Bay Area, should come as no real surprise to anyone.