State GOP Denounces Nunez Deal

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Nunez group walked by a group of 10 friends of the victim who were standing along Broadway with signs saying "No Rotten Politics" and "Justice 4 Nunez, Garcia, Thomas, and Jett".

    Echoing the parents of stabbing victim Luis Santos, California GOP leaders denounced the decision by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to reduce the sentence of Santos' killer who also happens to be the son of former Assembly Speaker, and Schwarzenegger political ally, Fabian Nunez.

    Santos parents immediately expressed anger over the decision by Schwarzenegger to reduce the sentence of Esteban Nunez. 

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    Nunez pleaded guilty for his role in the 2008 stabbing death of San Diego Mesa College student Santos.

    Schwarzenegger made the call during the last minutes of his term and did not notify either party before deciding.

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    At the GOP's spring convention in Sacramento, delegates condemned the action, saying it contradicted the party's stance on tough punishment for murderers and violent criminals.

    Schwarzenegger's action, it said, "created the appearance that a favor was done" for Fabian Nunez.

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    "Now, therefore be it resolved, that the California Republican Party condemns the commutation of the prison sentence for Esteban Nunez and further condemns the manner in which it was done, without concern for the victims and their suffering, and without respect for the message this action will send to potential criminals with connections to those in power," the resolution states.

    The resolution was approved without comment from the delegates. A spokesman for Schwarzenegger, Daniel Ketchell, said the former governor declined to comment.

    Esteban Nunez and others were convicted in the stabbing death of 22-year-old Luis Santos, a business student at San Diego's Mesa College. Prosecutors say Nunez and his friends from Sacramento were upset about being kicked out of a fraternity party, had been drinking alcohol and were seeking revenge when they encountered a group of unarmed students that included Santos.

    Three others were injured in the attack on the campus of San Diego State University, including two people stabbed by Esteban Nunez. The group then fled to Sacramento, where prosecutors say they hid and destroyed evidence.

    Fred and Kathy Santos filed a lawsuit in Sacramento County Superior Court asking the court to restore a 16-year sentence.

    "This was a gross injustice through and through and it was a political act," said Fred Santos.

    Schwarzenegger's action also has prompted a number of bills seeking to reduce the governor's clemency powers or ensure that victims' families are notified before such decisions are made public.