Peter Collins in the Mercury News says the Supreme Court should explain why it blocked Governor Jerry Brown from granting clemency to 10 felons. “If we hold the court to its own standards in the March order, we must conclude that it found that Gov. Brown has abused his power. I submit that the justices are abusing their discretion in a secretive process that leaves the public to speculate about their motives.” (Link added.)
Collins also says, “Leaving it to legal experts to comment on separation of powers issues, I do see a major conflict of interest, as the court controls the broken process that led these convicts to seek clemency in the first place.” There are no separation of powers issues or conflicts of interest. The California Constitution requires the Supreme Court to review a governor’s intended pardon or sentence commutation for a twice-convicted felon. It’s not like the court stepped in, uninvited, to interfere with the Governor’s authority. Also, the charge ignores that reviewing a conviction and sentence is very different from reviewing a clemency recommendation request. For example, the court recommended the commutation of Alfredo Perez, Jr.‘s 27-years-to-life sentence for assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury just five months after it had reversed a reduction in the sentence.