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Cal. Supreme Court Approves Clemency Including LWOP

The Supreme Court today granted Governor Gavin Newsom’s request for permission to commute the life-without-parole sentence of Carlos Cano and to pardon Roy Sarver for a 1968 conviction of attempted second degree burglary and second degree burglary. A court recommendation is constitutionally required before a governor can grant clemency to anyone who has been “twice convicted of a felony.” As is standard with requests for commutation recommendations, Newsom said he expects clemency for Cano will not lead to immediate release from prison, but to a parole suitability hearing. Cano was sentenced in 1998 to life without parole plus 17 years to life for first degree murder and attempted murder with sentence enhancements. The court has said it reviews clemency recommendation requests under a deferential standard. And Newsom has a nearly perfect record — he withdrew one request before a ruling, but the court has approved all 56 of his other requests. That’s better than former Governor Jerry Brown, who had the court without explanation block 10 intended clemency grants. The denial of a request implies that a clemency grant would be an abuse of power. Including today’s action, the court has granted Newsom approval to commute 11 life-without-parole sentences. He has not sought clemency for any death row inmates. There are five other clemency recommendation requests pending, including one more request for permission to commute a life without parole sentence.

Would you like to learn more about Clemency and whether it’s right for your loved one? We can help. Learn about the process and what it takes to obtain a grant of commutation from someone who has received one! Email us at, or call us at (213) 572-6227 for more information. #clemency #commutationofsentence #rehabilitation #insight

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