Court upholds Schwarzenegger’s clemency for ex-speaker’s son

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SAN DIEGO -- The reduced sentence of Esteban Nunez granted by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was upheld by an appellate court Tuesday.

Esteban Nunez, the son of former Assembly speaker Fabian Nunez, was convicted of killing Luis Santos in 2008 after being rejected from a frat party.

A jury determined Esteban and his friends decided to take revenge on the party goers by arming themselves with knifes and attacking a group students walking near the campus police station.

Nunez was sentenced to 16 years in prison, but on Governor Schwarzenegger’s last day in office, he commuted Esteban’s sentence to 7 years in prison.

“Through this whole process I’ve learned that law and justice don’t mean the same thing,” said Fred Santos, father of the murdered college student.

Governor Schwarzenegger wrote a letter to the Santos family apologizing for the last-minute commutation, but did not back down from the decision, writing:

“It is with a heavy heart that I write to you in acknowledgement that my commutation of the sentence of Esteban Nunez has caused you more pain. I recognize that the last-minute nature of my final acts as Governor provided you no notice, no time to prepare for or absorb the impact of this decision.”

The Santos family has vowed to continue to fight to keep Esteban Nunez in prison for as long as they can.

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