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Gov. Jerry Brown announced plans to pardon 65 various individuals convicted of drug possession and other low-level crimes, including Richard Brent DeLeon, a drug dealer from Santa Barbara County.
All of those granted clemency had finished their sentence and lived free from custody for at least 10 years. DeLeon served a four-year prison sentence and served at least eight months on probation in October 1991 for possession of a narcotic with the intent to sell.
According to his pardon document, DeLeon has “lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen” since his release in 1996. He obtained an order recommending executive clemency in 2008 from the Superior Court of Santa Barbara.
Brown drew notice by granting pardons for 79 people near the Christmas holiday. He granted a total of 128 pardons throughout the last year.
When asked about Brown’s recent trend of announcing pardons around religious holidays, Spokesman Gareth Lacy referred to past members of office as setting precedents for awarding clemency.
“Governors make a tradition of granting pardons,” Lacey said. “Ronald Reagan pardoned more than 400 people in his administration. They form a tradition of pardoning people who have lived upstanding lives and can contribute to society.”