Friday brought news of a second chance for 10 Californians convicted of drug and other minor crimes.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he had granted ten pardons, according to a statement from his office.
Most of those pardoned were convicted between the late 1980s and early 2000s, according to Friday’s announcement. One was convicted in 1973.
Her crimes included possession of marijuana and cocaine, first-degree burglary and second-degree robbery, the announcement said.
“The governor views the pardon as an important part of the criminal justice system that can incentivize accountability and rehabilitation and enhance public safety by removing counterproductive barriers to successful re-entry,” Friday’s statement said. “A pardon can also eliminate unjust side effects of a conviction such as deportation and permanent family separation.”
Pardons don’t forgive someone for committing a crime or minimize the harm done, Newsom’s office said. Instead, they recognize each person’s progress and rehabilitation since their conviction.
In some cases, pardons have been granted as a form of remedy for past wrongs or in recognition of a changing legal landscape.
Newsom last month, in a high-profile case, posthumously pardoned Laura Miner, a health care worker convicted of performing abortions on women in 1949, when it was still a crime in California.
Miner spent 19 months in prison after being found guilty on numerous counts of abortion and conspiracy to perform an abortion.
“In California, we will never go back to a time when women were forced to seek basic health care in back rooms and underground clinics,” Newsom said in November. “The story of Laura Miner is a powerful reminder of the generations of people who fought for reproductive freedom in this country and the risks so many Americans now face in a post-Roe world.”
And in July, the governor pardoned Sara Kruzan, whose murder conviction at age 17 for killing a man who had sexed her has become a symbol of a flawed justice system.
Newsom has granted 140 pardons, 123 commutations and 35 grace periods while in office, according to Friday’s statement.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-12-23/gavin-newsom-pardons-10-people-previously-convicted-of-drug-offenses-other-crimes Gov. Gavin Newsom pardons 10 convicted of drug offenses, other crimes