Stabbing and murder are apparently not a serious crime in the eyes of Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last official acts was to commute the manslaughter sentence of the son of former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.
Esteban Nuñez, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in the October 2008 stabbing death of college student Luis Dos Santos near San Diego State, had his prison term commuted to seven years by the governor.
“I do not discount the gravity of the offense,” Schwarzenegger’s statement said. “But given Nuñez’s limited role in Santos’ death, and considering that … Nuñez had no criminal record prior to this offense, I believe Nuñez’s sentence is excessive.”
Even though Esteban Nuñez did not deliver the stab wound that killed Luis Dos Santos he did admit to stabbing two other men in the fight. Nuñez and his friends were armed while the men they stabbed were unarmed.
San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis blasted the decision by saying it “greatly diminishes justice.” San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith charged Schwarzenegger reduced the sentence to, quote, “help his political crony’s son.” Although Schwarzenegger is a Republican and the elder Nunez is a Los Angeles Democrat, the two were political allies in San Francisco.
The family of the victim is also outraged. “I think it’s absolutely despicable,” said the victim’s mother, Cathy Santos. “I think it’s a huge injustice to our son.” The victim’s father said the former governor’s decision is morally wrong. “The justice system did not fail us, but the political system did,” said Fred Santos. “Political favoritism is alive and well in Sacramento. Bottom line: [Nunez] pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges.”
Most everyone on both sides of the political isle agree that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s term in office was a complete failure. He left office with only a 22% approval rating. A rating that would be much lower had this back alley deal been made before his last minutes in office.