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Supreme Court Approves Three Pardons

04/14/2021--The Supreme Court today recommended that Governor Gavin Newsom pardon Eugene Arnold, Gene Baker, Jeffrey Smith. Newsom asked for those recommendations last May, June, and July, respectively (here, here, and here), which are constitutional prerequisites to clemency grants because the three have been “twice convicted of a felony.”


The court’s actions clear Arnold to be pardoned for unspecified felonies in 1988 and 1990, Baker to be pardoned for two drug-related felonies in 1996, and Smith to be pardoned for unspecified 1982 and 1988 felonies. There is often little publicly available information about the clemency candidates.


Newsom is now 19 for 19 in having the court approve his pardons and sentence commutations, which is considerably better than former Governor Jerry Brown, who had the court block 10 intended clemency grants.


There are now 16 clemency recommendation requests pending before the court. The oldest one was submitted in May 2020 (at the same time as Arnold’s), the most recent seven just last month.

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