Arnold Schwarzenegger has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the case of reducing the prison sentence of a convicted murderer, yet many involved are wondering if he used his position of power to help out a friend.
Schwarzenegger cut the sentence of 23-year old Esteban Nunez from 16 years to 7 after he was tried and convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the murder of 22-year old Luis Santos at a college party. Nunez, it should be noted, is the son of Fabian Nunez, a close friend and political ally of Schwarzenegger’s.
The former California governor reduced the sentence seemingly at the last minute, right before taking his leave of office, and the family of Santos says they are outraged that they weren’t informed of the decision beforehand. They filed a lawsuit based on the claim that Schwarzenegger violated a law which says the families of murder victims must be notified of such decisions, but a judge ruled that the law didn’t address the governor’s power to pardon a criminal.
Schwarzenegger said he made the decision based on the fact that Nunez had limited involvement in the murder, yet was given the same sentence as the individual who was responsible for Santos’ death.
Kathy Santos, the victim’s mother, said, “They defended a backroom deal, you know? They got away with it for today, but we’re very disappointed. Where’s the justice for our son? He was murdered. Two conniving politicians got away with it.”