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Supreme Court Approves Newsom Pardon Request

4/14/2022—The California Supreme Court ruled that Governor Gavin Newsom can pardon Steve Kirkendoll for a 1977 conviction of first and second degree robbery and a 1978 conviction of first degree robbery. In February, Newsom asked for the court’s recommendation, which is constitutionally required before he can grant clemency to anyone, like Kirkendoll, who has been “twice convicted of a felony.” 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 44 of his other requests. That’s better than former Governor Jerry Brown, who had the court without explanation block 10 intended clemency grants.

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