The father of a young man who was killed in a fight involving the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez said Wednesday he is upset about a letter former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent him after reducing the younger Núñez's prison sentence.
On Jan. 2, his last day in office, Schwarzenegger cut the prison sentence of Esteban Núñez from 16 years to seven. He didn't contact the Santos family to seek their opinions before he issued his order.
On Saturday, Fred Santos, the victim's father, said a letter from Schwarzenegger arrived at his home "out of the blue."
The letter, dated Jan. 5, acknowledged that commuting the sentence caused Santos and his wife "more pain."
"I recognize that the last minute nature of my final acts as governor provided you no notice, no time to prepare for or absorb the impact of this decision," he wrote. "For that, I apologize."
Schwarzenegger added that the "facts of this case" do not support giving Esteban Núñez the same sentence as another man who wielded the knife that killed their son.
"As a father," Schwarzenegger wrote, "I believe there is no sentence too harsh for the death of your son. But our system of justice demands that the facts of this case be weighed without the passion of a father's rage."
Santos said the letter "was a little too late" and struck him as a response to the criticism he and others leveled at Schwarzenegger after the order was announced.
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