Monterey County

Governor issues 63 pardons on Good Friday

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Jerry Brown is keeping with his tradition of offering pardons to convicted offenders on Christian holidays, announcing on Good Friday that he issued 63 pardons.

The Democratic governor says all the applicants had been out of custody for at least a decade with no criminal activity.

Most were for drug-related crimes such as possession with intent to sell, manufacturing or transporting controlled substances. Two were for manslaughter.

Friday's pardons included Refugio Mercado Rosales, who was sentenced in Monterey County Superior Court in March 1986 for possession of a controlled substance for sale.

Rosales was sentenced to three years of probation and one year in jail; he was discharged on March 5, 1989, having completed his sentence.

His application for a gubernatorial pardon evidenced that since his release "he has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen," Brown's order states.

Brown, who is Catholic, has made a habit of issuing pardons around religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter. He says those pardoned Friday have demonstrated "exemplary behavior" and have lived productive lives.

A gubernatorial pardon does not erase a conviction. Rather, it restores certain rights, such as allowing the person to serve on a jury.

Individuals who have been convicted of a crime in California may apply to the Governor for a pardon. A gubernatorial pardon may be granted to people who have demonstrated exemplary behavior and have lived productive and law-abiding lives following their conviction. Pardons are not granted unless they are earned, according to state officials.

To view all 63 pardons, click here.

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