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Governor Newsom Announces Clemency Actions, Signs Executive Order for Independent Investigation

05/28/2021– Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has granted 14 pardons, 13 commutations and 8 medical reprieves. In addition, the Governor signed an executive order to launch an independent investigation of death row inmate Kevin Cooper’s case as part of the evaluation of Cooper’s application for clemency. The investigation will review trial and appellate records in the case, the facts underlying the conviction and all available evidence, including the results of the recently conducted DNA tests previously ordered by the Governor to examine additional evidence in the case using the latest, most scientifically reliable forensic testing. The California Constitution gives the Governor the authority to grant executive clemency in the form of a pardon, commutation or reprieve. These clemency grants recognize the applicants’ subsequent efforts in self-development or the existence of a medical exigency. They do not forgive or minimize the harm caused. The Governor regards clemency as an important part of the criminal justice system that can incentivize accountability and rehabilitation, increase public safety by removing counterproductive barriers to successful reentry, correct unjust results in the legal system and address the health needs of incarcerated people with high medical risks. A commutation modifies a sentence, making an incarcerated person eligible for an earlier release or allowing them to go before the Board of Parole Hearings for a hearing at which Parole Commissioners determine whether the individual is suitable for release. A reprieve allows individuals classified by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as high medical risk to serve their sentences in appropriate alternative placements in the community consistent with public health and public safety. The Governor weighs numerous factors in his review of clemency applications, including an applicant’s self-development and conduct since the offense, whether the grant is consistent with public safety and in the interest of justice, and the impact of a grant on the community, including crime victims and survivors. While in office, Governor Newsom has granted a total of 86 pardons, 92 commutations and 28 reprieves. –

The below-listed individuals had their sentences commuted and/or received a medical reprieve. The first number is their original sentence, followed by the year of the commitment offense, followed by commuted sentence, most of whom are being immediately scheduled for a parole suitability hearing. POSSE SOLUTIONS wants to congratulate you all! Commutations: Jose Barajas, 42-life (1996), immediate parole consideration; Damien Buchwald, 24 years (2013), immediate parole consideration; Larry Garcia, LWOP (1986), 34-life; Benjamin Guerra, 24 years (2006), immediate parole consideration; Tyrone Haymond, LWOP (1978), 43-life; Tracy Pabon, 50-life (1994), immediate parole consideration; Samuel Redmond, LWOP X2 + 50 years (2000), 25-life; Mary Reese, 35-life (2007), immediate parole consideration; Edwin Rivera, 34-life (2001), immediate parole consideration; Michael Romero, 23 years (2008), immediate parole consideration; Frank Silva, 40-life (2005), immediate parole consideration; Omar Walker, LWOP + 16 years (1995), 25-life. Medical Reprieves: Richard Fishman, 15-life (1980), alternative custody placement; James Granville, 27-life (1999), alternative custody placement; Tyrone Haymond, 43-life (1978), alternative custody placement; N J Jackson, 64-life (1998), alternative custody placement; George Meadors, 26-life (2003), alternative custody placement; Tracy Pabon, immediate parole consideration (1994), alternative custody placement; Anthony Tillman, 26-life (1987), alternative custody placement; Robert Williams, 15-life (1977), alternative custody placement. (Editor’s Note: The 14 Pardons were for people already out of prison after having served their sentences. Therefore, we did not list their names here.)

See Executive Orders at:

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