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Gov. Brown grants clemency to 35 from Bay Area

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Outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown on Christmas Eve pardoned and commuted sentences for 35 individuals in the Bay Area charged with crimes over the course of more than two decades.

The executive clemency was part of 143 pardons and 131 commutations throughout the state, granting a Certificate of Rehabilitation for some and cutting down jail and prison sentences for others.

Formerly and currently incarcerated people are able to apply for a pardon or commuted sentence through the governor’s office on the basis of exemplary behavior.

Seven people convicted in Santa Clara County were pardoned on Monday, with San Mateo County receiving the next highest at six pardons. A majority of these individuals had served their sentences several years prior.

Most involved drug-related charges, with one individual from San Mateo County being pardoned for voluntary manslaughter.

Sixteen people serving life for murder without the possibility of parole had their sentences cut short or became eligible for parole.

A 77-year sentence in Alameda County was commuted to 20 years, a man in Santa Clara County serving a life sentence was granted a parole hearing and others were shortened to 30 or less years, with several having already served 25 years or more.

The executive clemency is one of Brown’s last acts in office, as he prepares for Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom’s inauguration next month.

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