Governor Newsom sends first clemency request to the Supreme Court

Governor Gavin Newsom today sent to the Supreme Court his first request for approval of an intended grant of clemency.  He wants to pardon Susan Burton for three felony convictions. A California governor is constitutionally required to get the consent of a majority of the Supreme Court before he or she can pardon or commute the sentence of a twice-convicted felon.  Former Governor Jerry Brown sought that consent probably more often than any previous governor, and the court last year notably rejected 10 requests when there had not been a single rejection in almost 90 years.  Even though it had earlier issued a unanimous order stating its general — and quite deferential — approach to reviewing a governor’s requests for clemency recommendations, the court did not explain any of its rejections. Unlike the clemency recommendation requests submitted by Brown, Newsom’s cover letter to the court that appears on the court’s website does not…

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