Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown continued his tradition of issuing pardons on Christmas Eve. (Rich Pedroncelli/The Associated Press)

Capitol Alert
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
By Jeremy B. White
12/24/2014 7:21 PM

Gov. Jerry Brown pardoned 104 people on Wednesday, continuing his tradition of granting judicial mercy for Christmas.

As usual, years-old drug crimes like possessing and transporting controlled substances or cultivating marijuana accounted for most of the offenses being forgiven. Each person winning a pardon has already completed their sentences and won a certificate of rehabilitation from a Superior Court. To be eligible, the pardon applicant must have remained out of trouble for 10 years after completing a sentence.

“A gubernatorial pardon is an honor that may be granted to people who have demonstrated exemplary behavior following their conviction. A pardon will not be granted unless it has been earned,” a document from the Governor’s Office explains.

But Brown rescinded one of the pardons after the Los Angeles Times reported that Glen Williams Carnes, convicted of possessing drugs for sale in 1998 in Orange County, had recently settled a case with the federal Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. According to the letter of consent he signed with the agency in May 2013, Carnes agreed to be barred from financial dealings. He did not admit to the findings, which included trying to acquire an outside business without approval from his firm and providing “false and misleading statements” to investigators.

“Information was not disclosed by the applicant and the grant was made based on the certificate of rehabilitation issued by the Superior Court,” said Brown spokesman Evan Westrup. “Without the certificate of rehabilitation, this individual would not have been considered for a pardon. This particular pardon had not been attested by the secretary of state and was subsequently withdrawn.”

In addition to drug-related offenses, people receiving pardons Wednesday had committed crimes like burglary and grand theft. That included people who stole a motorcycle from a garage; took items from a storage facility; and a man who “took expensive wine out of a wine cellar and drank it.”

Others were convicted of conspiring to rob a convenience store, robbing a bar while armed, stealing a friend’s car, submitting false documents to get a driver’s license, dissuading a witness from testifying and vehicular manslaughter.

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