LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A grieving father says he plans to sue over one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last acts as governor.

Esteban Nunez, the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his involvement in a fight that killed Luis Santos.

Just before he left office, Governor Schwarzenegger commuted Nunez’s sentence to seven years.

Luis’ Father, Fred Santos, Speaks To KNX 1070 Newsline

Fred Santos is outraged by Schwarzenegger’s decision regarding Nunez, who cut a deal for voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon in the stabbing death of his son.

Santos, who blasted the reduction of the 16-year sentence to seven years as despicable, has now received an apology letter from Schwarzenegger.

santos letter1 Lawsuit May Be Filed Over One Of Schwarzenggers Final Acts As Governor

Read Schwarzenegger's letter to Mr. and Mrs. Santos. (click to enlarge)

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Comments (29)
  1. Girly Man says:

    Many stupid things the Ex-Governor did but this has got to the MOST disturbing.
    The Girly Man Overided the Judges decision and commuted Nunez’s sentence.
    He did it because Fabian Nunez is now connected to him again.
    What a disgusting political move he pulled there before leaving office.
    Political Corruption at it’s best.

  2. ES says:

    I hope and pray to God that Mr. Santo’s voice is heard and justice be heard. My prayer are with you Sir.

  3. D417 says:

    I don’t understand why political officials have the right to reduce sentences or free convicted criminals anyway. We have the justice system for dealing with criminals. Politicians should not have the right to meddle, especially considering how corrupt most politicians have become. A family lost a son and there should be consequences.

  4. ER says:

    why can i say he is a nazy and one of the worst governors of California dont understand how he got elected i voted for the porn star.

  5. David says:

    Perhaps Arnold should serve the 9 years that he comuted in place of that twit Nunez and his corrupt father.

  6. Brandon says:

    The ex-govenor did not look into the case. If he had he would of seen that he already had been give a lower sentance for pleading guilty. Let this murderer serve the entire 16 years.,

  7. krg says:

    I hope he sues and I hope he wins. We live in a lawsuit happy society and it ticks me off how much court time is often wasted on stupid things but this is one that would be more than justified.

  8. keepdapeace says:

    Anyone who doesn’t think that politicians on both sides of the aisle are only in it for themselves, have only to look at how Arnie and Nunez have patted each other on the back. This is a slap in the face of the Santos family. Lowest form of life. But, then, they are all lawyers and movie stars, aren’t they?

  9. DANA says:


  10. Bruce says:

    This is the most in-your-face act I have seen from a politician in all my decades on thnis planet … and originally coming from Chicago this is really saying something. Shame on the Governor. He was going out as a pumped-up big mouth anyway, but this should get him a special award. Our hearts go out to Fred Santos. How used, how betrayed, and how small this must make him feel. We wish him well in court.

  11. Tahoedreamer says:

    The father of this tragically slain young man–makes a good legal point. Notice. The right to be advised, notified and made aware of a pending legal action.

    Now the question for you California Lawyers is whether the California Constitution, statutes and case law require notice to be provided before a Governor commutes a sentence. The general authority to grant reprieves, pardons and commutations of sentence is conferred upon the Governor by Section 8 of Article V of the Constitution of the State of California.

    According to the California Attorney General (http://ag.ca.gov/victimservices/overview.php)
    RIGHT TO BE PRESENT AT SENTENCING AND PAROLE HEARINGS. So the initial question is whether Courts have held that Commutations are akin to a parole action. But there are many other avenues and the other that comes to mind–which is likely a better road is the Petition for Executive Clemency itself, pursuant to Penal Code Sections 4804.

    Look at Sec. 4804: At least 10 days before the Governor acts upon an application for a pardon, written notice of the intention to apply therefor, signed by the person applying, must be served upon the district attorney of the county where the conviction was had, and proof, by affidavit, of the service must be presented to the Governor.

    Was the petition in fact timely served upon the appropriate district attorney?
    Did that district attorney fail to notify the victim?
    Was the presiding Judge in this case made aware of the pending application for commutation?

    Additionally, was the convicted defendant convicted to one or two felonies? Other sections (e.g., 4801) may apply. So where is Gloria Aldridge and others when you need them. Can’t we get some lawyers of conscience to take up arms pro bono for the defense of this family and to preserve justice?

  12. Karen says:

    I completely support Mr. Santos.


    it is painfully clear that Arnold is a more corrupt politician than almost any politician out there. This act was so blatant.

    How dare Arnie send an apology AFTER THE FACT to try and rationalize his behavior. It is outrageous.

  13. thecanimal says:

    We can only pray that the former Governor’s family becomes a victim of a paroled gang member’s violence.

  14. Political Corruption says:

    Who goes to a College Fraternity Party with a Knife?
    Matter of Fact, who goes walking around with a Knife?
    Nunez is a Troublemaker & Proved it..
    Arnold is Coward! A Heartless move..

  15. Antl says:

    This commutation by Schwarzenegger is arguably the worst single atrocity, any governor has committed. The victims rights have been violated and Californians statewide, are mad as hell.

    Next time Schwarzenegger, Nunez, or Villaraigosa are promoted on TV, call the broadcasts and complain. Please do not promote those three, who abuse their political authority for their own personal gain.

    I want to vomit when I see Schwarzenegger, Nunez, and Villaraigosa as they smoke cigars and rob regular citizens of justice.

  16. recon says:

    this is nothing more than political pay back why this governor even tries to explain it is beyond me.. we all know what it is.. everybody who is convicted think he got a stiffer sentence than he deserve so in this case this kid stab 2 people and failed to kill them and for this failure he is rewarded with a 50% reduction in sentence.. I have never heard of any sentence being reduce like that in a case like this.. this makes mockery of our justice system…

  17. Ronnie Sandoval says:

    The ex Governor should have taken into consideration the family of the victim
    My son, Arthur , was murdered and the man who plead guilty will only serve two years!
    To the Santos family, I am standing with you in your attempt to gain justice for you son! Take comfort in knowing you are not alone!
    The ex Governor’s act is a classic example of how corrupt our judicial system is! Arnold you should have granted clemency to a wrongfully convicted individual God knows there are plenty of innocent people behind bars!

  18. Disgusted says:

    Little Nunez bragged to his friends that daddy would get him off. Well, he couldn’t get him off the hook completely but Big Daddy & Gov. Muscle Head did the next best thing. You “people” (I use the term loosely) make me puke. At least the punk will serve an Afterlife sentence burning in H*ll.

  19. jeanief says:

    I do not believe for an iota of a second that there is ANY sincerity in this “apology.” If there were any feelings for this family at all, the family would have been consulted and, at the very least, notified of the the pending commutation. What Arnie is only “sorry” for is the fact that he has been outed as the conniving, backroom-dealmaker that he truly is. He has no heart–only a wallet where the heart should be. (wonder what is in place where his brain should reside?)

  20. swhit says:

    If Santos had been illegal it would be back in the courts as of right now and the sentence would be x 10.

  21. Jim in O C says:

    Typical Arnold. I hope they win big time.

  22. Mike James says:

    The only reason he sent the INSINCERE apology letter was because he was forced by his lawyers. His lawyers probably told him “why the hell didn’t you send this letter BEFORE doing this!”. This country is becoming just as corrupt as Mexico.

  23. LA Citizen says:

    The victim’s family should also consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the Nunez family.

  24. longer term says:

    Now that dad has shown he can get this done just imagine what the guards union will be asking for in order keep him safe for the next 3, 5, 7 or however many he ends up serving. We Jerry cannot fix this quick we should give all public employees a 50% raise so that the state can go bankrupt, get it over with and start the recovery.

  25. Karen Baxter says:

    this is a shame – had he chosen a more worthy inmate this would have been a powerful and positive story of redemption and the value of second chances. He was fully aware of Brandon Hein – http://www.brandonhein.com.

  26. nick benson sr says:

    We must not vote for Nunez either, he is running again in 2014. And hopefully another inmate will give Nunez Jr what he deserves before he gets out. Other inmates are rightfully feeling hatred for Nunez’ special treatment. Hope they bend him over first.

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