Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown pardons 59 for Easter

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a news conference about transportation in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015.
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a news conference about transportation in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The Associated Press

Easter is around the corner, which means it’s time for a fresh batch of pardons from Gov. Jerry Brown.

Continuing his tradition of announcing leniency around Christmas and Easter, Brown released a list of 59 gubernatorial pardons on Friday. As usual, the bulk of them addressed old drug crimes and lower-level offenses such as burglary and insurance fraud.

Receiving a pardon requires turning the corner from past crimes. To be considered, someone must have lived a crime-free life for the decade after completing his or her sentence and have received a court-issued certificate of rehabilitation. Pardons do not clear or seal records but can bring benefits like being allowed to own guns, serve on juries or work as probation officers.

“These pardons recognize – and even affirm – that people can turn their lives around after making mistakes and become solid members of their community,” Brown said in an emailed statement.

Brown has proved more willing than his immediate gubernatorial predecessors to issue pardons, extending 742 since 2011, including Friday’s batch. The previous three governors combined for 28, though governors before that issued hundreds apiece.

The latest additions did not include well-known figures like the Christmas 2015 group that included actor Robert Downey Jr. Among those receiving pardons Friday:

▪ Mark Burnworth, who was sentenced in Sacramento County for adding items that were not stolen to an insurance claim after a home burglary. Lester Small, also sentenced in Sacramento County, had received stolen property.

▪ For illegally storing and transporting his company’s hazardous waste, a man who served three years’ probation in Los Angeles County.

▪ A man who stole from a pizza delivery person served one year and one month in prison.

▪ For stealing money from his boss, believing he was owed back pay, a man who served three years’ probation and 180 days in jail.

▪ A woman who allowed two young children to leave the house while she slept and earned nine months in prison on child cruelty charges.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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