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California governor commutes sentence, grants 112 pardons

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday reduced the sentence of a man convicted of a 1999 gang shooting in Los Angeles County and granted pardons to 112 people, continuing his practice of granting clemency before major Christian holidays.

Brown cut 10 years off the prison term for Louis Calderon, who involved in a gang shooting that caused a woman to lose her eye. Calderon, then 19, pulled up next to another car, and one of his friends opened fire.

Calderon received a sentence of 32 years to life. Brown's commutation speeds up his eligibility for parole by 10 years.

In his commutation, Brown said Calderon has dropped out of his former gang and become a model inmate. He's never been disciplined, has received multiple community college degrees and a paralegal certificate and tutors other inmates, the governor wrote.

"This is a very serious crime, but it is clear that Mr. Calderon has distinguished himself by his exemplary conduct in prison and his forthright and continuing separation from gang activities of any kind," Brown role.

Calderon was the second person to have a sentence commuted since Brown returned to the governor's office in 2011. The Democratic governor commuted one sentence during his first eight years in office from 1975 to 1983, according to his office.

Brown also granted pardons to 112 people whose sentences were completed more than a decade ago. Most were convicted of nonviolent drug offenses, though some committed other crimes including robbery, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, forgery, financial crimes, kidnapping and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

They were granted certificates of rehabilitation by the county superior court.

A gubernatorial pardon does not erase a conviction, but state and federal law enforcement agencies are informed and the pardon becomes a public record.

The state's longest-serving governor has now issued 1,258 pardons, including 404 during his first stint as governor. Brown, a former Jesuit seminarian, has restored a practice that largely lapsed under his three immediate predecessors.

Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger granted 15, Democrat Gray Davis granted none, and Republican Pete Wilson gave out 13.

Before them, Republican Ronald Reagan granted nearly 600, and the GOP's George Deukmejian gave more than 300, according to Brown's office.

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