A civil rights group asserts that the California family whose
son was stabbed to death may have a case against the state's former
governor, who is accused of violating state law.
Though recognizing that Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) decision to reduce the jail sentence of Esteban
Núñez, a political colleague's son, was "distasteful," Sacramento
Superior Court Judge Lloyd G. Connelly says the former California
governor's move will stand. He upholds Schwarzenegger's power to
make decisions outside the "normal criminal justice process,"
saying the power to commute a sentence is a "discretionary
"We have a system of laws, and if the governor
followed the law, that's fine," notes Robert Knight of The American Civil
Rights Union. "Not everybody has to agree with his decisions,
but if he violated the law, then that's wrong, and the victim's
family has a case. And if they do have that case, they should be
bringing it to the next level of jurisprudence to obtain
Schwarzenegger cut down Núñez 16-year sentence for voluntary
manslaughter to seven years. Attorneys for the victim's family
claim the former governor broke state law by not notifying the
family ten days before the commutation.