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As the Governator leaves, he issues commutation for Esteban Nuñez

January 2nd, 2011 · 34 Comments

Esteban Nuñez, the thuggish spawn of former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, received a nice holiday gift from outgoing Govenor Arnold Schwarznegger, a commutation of his prison sentence from 16 years to seven years. The younger Nuñez was sentenced in June of 2010 for the fatal stabbing of Luis Dos Santos. Esteban Nuñez has benefited from his father’s position throughout his criminal ordeal even shortely after he was arrested, having Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa call him “a great kid, a good boy.”

When you read the Governor’s reasoning for the commutation, it makes sense why he issued it. However, it is very obvious that this was a gift to the Nuñez family. If Esteban Nuñez had been the child of Jose Nuñez, the brick layer or car washer, I doubt he would have had his sentence commuted.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Schwarzenegger should have done this or should he have left Esteban Nuñez’s original sentence in tact?

Photo Credit: Taken from Esteban’s now closed MySpace Account, pictured on the right wearing the “wifebeater” style tank.

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Tags: Antonio Villaraigosa · Crime · Fabian Núñez

34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tweets that mention As the Governator leaves, he issues commutation for Esteban Nuñez -- Topsy.com // Jan 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LatinoPolitics. LatinoPolitics said: As the Governator @Schwarzenegger leaves, he issues commutation 4 Esteban Nuñez: http://bit.ly/gMeZBd h/t @cruickshank [...]

  • 2 Amerinica // Jan 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Disturbing (and you are right regular Joe would not get the time of day from the Governor) but I can understand the argument behind the need to adjust the prison sentence. However, one can argue that he was just as guilty as the one who killed Santos. He did not help Santos and he was lucky that his knife did not dig deeply into Henderson to cause fatal damage. Prayers go out to the victim’s family.

  • 3 WhatThe.. // Jan 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Preferential Treatment! Different rules for those in power than for those they claim to protect, the people. What a Joke! This is a clear case of First Degree Murder!

  • 4 Anna // Jan 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Re: “Esteban Nuñez has benefited from his father’s position throughout his criminal ordeal …”

    What evidence is there of that? You shouldn’t make such a statement unless you can provide evidence to support it. From the link you posted, it seems that Nunez received a more excessive sentence than he deserved and was charged and convicted of a crime he did not commit (manslaughter).

  • 5 webmaster // Jan 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Anna,

    Politicians wrote letters on behalf of Esteban Nuñez:

    http://latinopoliticsblog.com/2008/12/23/esteban-nunezs-special-treatment-courtesty-of-papi-nunez-and-his-friends/

    Mayor Villaraigosa told the press that Esteban was a “good boy.” I read a lot about Mayor V., and he typically doesn’t go on record defending criminals.

    And Schwarzenegger only issued a handful of commutations. I’m surprised that you think that Schwarzenegger was unbiased in this move.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/02/AR2011010203735.html

    It is naive to assume that children of the establishment don’t benefit from their parents’ position. This has been the case throughout history on both sides of the political spectrum from the Kennedys to the Bushes. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that most other criminals benefit from politicians writing letters like what happened in this particular case. Fabian Nuñez orchestrated a letter writing campaign for his child:

    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local-beat/Dads-Friends-Write-Letters-for-Esteban-Nunez.html

    Esteban had an opportunity to do so much with his life. His father is influential and could have helped him get the best education that money could buy, but he chose to engage in violent crime and hang around those who already had criminal records. If you read through the case documents, Esteban even bragged at some point about his father being able to get him and the rest of the kids off for what they committed. So even he knew that he would likely have some sort of preferential treatment.

  • 6 Wendy Carrillo // Jan 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    it would be great if all incarcerated youth had dad’s that were former Speakers.

  • 7 Pensativo // Jan 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I’m sick and tired of the mainstream community always holding us Latinos and other underrepresented peoples to moral standards significantly higher than they hold themselves. Moreover, what’s most upsetting to me about this situation is that all “mainstream” people use this as another excuse with which to attack all Latinos, not just the Nunez’s, notwithstanding by the way, that it was a white, REPUBLICAN governor who dispensed the commutation. So I’m not going to come on here and jump on the Nunez bashing bandwagon, nor am I fond of the family, but the bottom line is justice was served here, like it always has been served in America for rich and powerful families. Why the big outcry?

  • 8 webmaster // Jan 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Pensativo,

    I think your point is a valid one, but knowing that Latinos are held to a higher standard of morals, why do you think Esteban Nuñez chose to behave this way? His father is still very much in the public place as a lobbyist… this family of all people should be aware of how this paints us all in a poor light, especially at a time when we are facing so many difficulties as a community. Knowing that the rich and powerful protect each other, as they have throughout history, I’m not particularly surprised by this move. But what makes it more stinging is that we live in a time with a rather high distrust of government, and this particular commutation just further solidifies that notion for many citizens.

  • 9 Anna // Jan 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Re : “but I don’t think that most other criminals benefit from politicians writing letters like what happened in this particular case. ”

    But Nunez didn’t benefit from those letters. He was charged and convicted of a crime he didn’t commit (manslaughter). And Arnold didn’t totally commute his sentence. He just imposed the sentence that Nunez should have received to begin with based on the crimes that he actually committed.

    In other words, it took all of those political connections just to be treated FAIRLY under the law.

    Latinos don’t get the same advantages that whites in similar positions get, so I don’t know what you’re harping about.

  • 10 LA City Coucilmember Jose Huizar or Don Corleone? // Jan 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    [...] Archives Select Month January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 ← As the Governator leaves, he issues commutation for Esteban Nuñez [...]

  • 11 Juan Soria // Jan 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    You know, I see this crap everyday in San Jose, CA where supposedly an all affluent Latino (Mexican) Couple has a house in the Hills making over 100k a year yet their kids are smoking crystal meth in east side san jose, dropping out of high school and havin kids out of wedlock.

    Whereas me, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, was raised by single mother and knew from day one that shit wasnt gonna ever fly with the law so why do these kids in particular do this?

    My theory is that these people live their entire lives in a complete bubble. They may get a sense what it’s like to come up from the ghetto but they will never truly get what it means to have lived there so their kids vision is skewed and end up imagining the ghetto fabulous life. Not the version of course where your strung out, doped up, going to prison on a life sentence and quite possibly – dead.

    Latinos in power who want us to believe they are with the common man are a joke once they flex their socially engineered powers above us and what starts out as a theme of so called Latino unity is really a Class War between the Rich and the Poor.

    The punk should have served his time as a reminder to the youth that you will pay if you do the crime. Now the message says you wont have to pay shit if you have the money and the power.

    Just keeping it real, Right Nunez?

  • 12 Southern Cali // Jan 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Pensativo ~ I agree under represented people and Latinos are held to a different moral standard, but that doesn’t justify Nunez’s release.
    Juan is right. “That punk should have served his time…”
    but I offer another reason. The lesson Nunez learned from a Get-Out-0f-Jail card isn’t positive. And do you really think Nunez’s newly acquired freedom has humbled him or Daddy Nunez? Both are rewarded for the son’s disregard for human life and decency. Now intoxicated with power one can only wonder where will Nunez party with a knife next.

  • 13 el huevo // Jan 4, 2011 at 8:58 am

    To Pensativo and his “higher moral standards” part…
    I tend to think we are NOT held to a higher moral standard at all, which in and of itself, plain sucks. More than anything else, the so-called “mainstream” (which is not limited to white people) has come to expect this type of behavior from Latinos/blacks/”minority groups”, etc. and simply roll their eyes when they read about it again and again…and esp. dudes like this silver spoon Nunez kid mess it up for all of us that do live up to social standards.

    But I agree with his final point. This is simply what happens when someone’s parent(s) is in a power position…white, brown, black, etc. They get the breaks and that’s just the way it goes. We deal with it. If your dad is a cop and you get pulled over by his friend, you get a pass…simple.

    From a mainstream position, I hope when this numbskull gets out, he f**ks up again…and if he keeps up this thuggish persona, he most certainly will. That would be the sweetest revenge for the victims’ families.

    From a Latino position, I hope this guy does right and gets his shit together. Rise up, dude…surprise the mainstream.

  • 14 Danny // Jan 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    God, I really hope this f&*#hole gets whacked while in prison. That would be the greatest Karma giveback ever.

    Danny

  • 15 Erica // Jan 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    “Now intoxicated with power one can only wonder where will Nunez party with a knife next.”

    Can you say Joran van der Sloot

  • 16 Joaquin // Jan 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    You can’t blame the kid, he’s just following his father’s footsteps. Fabian has a felonious criminal history, even involving assault with a shotgun. His son’s violent streak probably stems from watching his mom get beat on by his dad – (from his divorce proceedings) – but now that he is married to this woman once again, the beatings no longer exist.
    The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree – like father like mijo.

  • 17 Sid // Jan 4, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    The privileged little f&*% stabbed two men that night. The original sentence was just. The Governator proved what a complete political whore he was by commuting the sentence. This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with money, political paybacks, and power.

  • 18 Goose // Jan 5, 2011 at 2:06 am

    RE: But Nunez didn’t benefit from those letters. He was charged and convicted of a crime he didn’t commit (manslaughter). And Arnold didn’t totally commute his sentence. He just imposed the sentence that Nunez should have received to begin with based on the crimes that he actually committed.

    ANNA are you brain dead or just obtuse?!? That loser Eseteban Nunez, which you continue to defend, was NOT “charged and convicted of a crime he didn’t commit (manslaughter)” …….he PLED GUILTY TO THE CHARGE OF MANSLAUGHTER IN ORDER TO AVOID GOING TO TRIAL FOR MURDER.

    While we are on the subject, Arnold did “commute” aka “alter” aka “convert
    ” aka “transform”, etc, etc, etc his sentence.

    Lastly, had Arnold simply “imposed the sentence that Nunez should have received to begin with based on the crimes that he actually committed,” he would be serving a 25 to life sentence. The loser you continue to defend, PLED GUILTY TO THE LESSER CHARGE OF MANSLAUGHTER IN ORDER TO AVOID GOING TO TRIAL FOR THE 6 COUNTS THAT HE ACTUALLY WAS CHARGED WITH AND ADMITTED COMMITING IN EXCHANGE FOR THE PLEA BARGAIN.

    For Christ sake, quit drinking the kool-aid and think about Luis Dos Santos’ family and friends!!

  • 19 Luis Sanchez // Jan 5, 2011 at 6:21 am

    I do not believe the mainstream media has made this out to be a racial issue. Rather they are making it out to be one of privilege.

    I feel bad for the victim’s family that their kid’s murders will be out in not too long. I have not heard anything about the Nunez family or any of the other kid’s families reaching out to the victim’s family in any way. I wonder why that has not been reported.

  • 20 Anna // Jan 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Re: “PLED GUILTY TO THE CHARGE OF MANSLAUGHTER IN ORDER TO AVOID GOING TO TRIAL FOR MURDER.”

    He didn’t commit murder. He didn’t kill anyone. And I’m not sticking up for him. There is something called justice under the law. I read the statement that Arnold issued, and the bulk of Nunez’s sentence was for the manslaughter charge, and the sentence he received was the same as the guy who actually killed somebody.

    Please tell me how somebody who didn’t kill anyone gets the same sentence as the ex-convict who did?

    The DA should have charged him with the crime he actually committed, and the judge should have given him a proper sentence. Then there would have been no basis on which to commute it.

  • 21 Goose // Jan 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Anna, let me re-phrase my previous statement, you ARE BOTH brain dead and obtuse.

    Its been stated numerous times in newspaper articles, news broadcasts and in blog topics of this case on this website, since the incident occured, that you do not have to be the actual person who “pulls the trigger”, “stabs the person”, “lights the fire” etc, etc, etc. to be convicted of murder in the state of California.

    MEANING a carload of gangsters/thugs/criminals/cowards all jump in a car and drive around with the intent to shoot someone, which they do and the victim ends up dying, EVERYONE IN THE CAR IS GUILTY OF MURDER. Listen closely now, the shooter will be charged, tried and is obviously guilty of murder for pulling the trigger as is everyone else in the car (driver and all the passengers) even though they “didn’t actually kill somebody.”

    Matter of fact, you don’t even have to plan to murder or attempt to murder anyone. I.E, if you and an accomplice plan to rob a bank/market/liquor store and you are the getaway driver and wait in the car while your accomplice robs the location and someone dies as the result of that, guess what, you will be charged, tried and more than likely convicted of murder like the “actual person who killed somebody.”

    Unless of course plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a much more lenient sentence.

    Please gag yourself and spit-up the kool-aid that is deep in your belly.

  • 22 Goose // Jan 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Anna,

    My previous post was in reply to your request to “Please tell me how somebody who didn’t kill anyone gets the same sentence as the ex-convict who did?”

    Long story short, the DA did charge him with the crime he actually committed and was complicit to per the California Penal Code. Let me guess, now your argument will be that the laws are wrong.

    Furthermore your comment that “The DA should have charged him with the crime he actually committed, and the judge should have given him a proper sentence. Then there would have been no basis on which to commute it” is purposely misleading. The Governor, or anyone with the powers to commute a sentence, does not need a reason or basis to do so.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • 23 Anna // Jan 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Re: “You should be ashamed of yourself”

    For what? For having an opinion different than yours? I have a question. What sentence did the other guys in the group get?

    Sadly, people are not treated the same under the law. Whoever makes the best “deal” gets a lesser charge and a smaller sentence, and if someone is too poor to afford good lawyer, or too ignorant to know his rights, he will be treated worse.

    And if you’re a minority, you will be treated worse. If Nunez had done what Jett did, Nunez would have gotten life.

  • 24 goose // Jan 5, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Anna,

    You just don’t get it and never will.

    NUNEZ DID DO WHAT JETT DID! THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT NUNEZ’S STABBING VICTIM HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE TO LIVE.

    No, you shouldn’t be ashamed of having a different opinion. You should be ashamed of your your false and misleading defense of a thug and lack of compassion for his family.

  • 25 Anna // Jan 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I’m not defending a thug. I told you, my concern is justice under the law. And having a victim live or not live is the difference between committing murder and not committing murder.

    I am sorry that your mind is so twisted and confused by the cop shows you see on TV that you don’t understand that defendants should be convicted of crimes they actually commit. Instead they get scared defendants make deals and plead guilty to things they didn’t do. You say that gave Nunez this deal because he was facing a murder charge. I say they gave him that deal because they didn’t think they could get a murder conviction. So they got him to plead to something he didn’t do.

    And you didn’t answer my question. What about the other guys who were in the fight that night? Were they charged and convicted of the same thing as Nunez? After all, acording to you they are all equally culpable. They probably made a deal and got away…

  • 26 Goose // Jan 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Unbelievable. The crimes Nunez committed, amongst several other that night, are called MURDER and ATTEMPT MURDER. Murder for the victim that died as the result of his complicit acts with his thug friends and Attempt Murder for the victim he stabbed in the stomach. DO YOU HEARTHE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?!?

    He and Jett CHOSE to plead out to manslaughter in order to avoid going to trial for MURDER and ATTEMPT MURDER amongst other various assault charges.

    To refer to Nunez as a “scared defendent who made a deal to plead guilty to something he didnt do” is asinine! He had the political and wealth benifit to be out on bail when he, his father and their attorneys agreed to this deal, BECAUSE IT WAS IN THEIR BEST INTEREST TO DO SO.

    As for the other defendents, they are still in prison. Why don’t you look it up and tell me what each of their sentences was. I am not debating them, I am debating Nunez and his commution.

  • 27 Anna // Jan 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    re: “He and Jett CHOSE to plead out …”

    They were OFFERED a deal. Why? You make it seem like Nunez was offered this deal because of his connections, but if so, then why was Jett offered the same deal when he has no connections and he has a criminal record? And he actually killed somebody? Hmm?

    You can spin this any way you want, but Jett killed somebody, plus he has a criminal record, which is always taken into account in sentencing. He should not have received the same deal and the same sentence as Nunez. Jett should have received a harsher sentence. That was the basis for the commutation–disparity in sentencing– and yes, the Governor needs a legal basis for his decision.

    As I said before, it took all of those connections for Nunez to receive a fair sentence based on the crimes he actually committed. Jett got a deal without any connections at all. A minority who did what Jett did would have received life in prison.

  • 28 Goose // Jan 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Anna,

    First of all plea bargains are offerred in cases before going to trial for two reasons; 1) to save the DAs office and the concerned County the time and money in going to trial 2) to save the defendants time on their sentences. That is the system both you and I live under and that’s why its called a DEAL!

    You are right they were “offerred” the deal which means they had a right to say, “no I would rather go to trial for MURDER.” You get it now?!! That is what they were BOTH charged with because, as I have already explained to you, that is what happens when you decide to be a coward and attack a smaller and unarmed group with knives. IT DOES NOT MATTER IF I OR MY PAL “ACTUALLY” INFLICTED THE WOUND WHICH LEADS TO THE DEMISE OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING!

    What part of that do you not understand? Apparently you will never understand until you are on the other side of it. I wonder if your “concern for justice under the law” would be so great if that was your son, brother, husband, relative, friend who was chased down and killed by this group of cowards. Hmmm!

    I digress, now imagine in the bizzaro world that you live in that your boy Nunez had chosen door #2 when he was OFFERRED the plea bargain. Meaning he wanted to roll the dice and go to trial for murder. Are you trying to tell me when found guilty (which he would have OTHERWISE WHY TAKE THE DEAL?), he would have received a lesser sentence than what HE CHOSE to plea for? Or that Jett’s sentence would have been more severe for the same time? REALLY?!? WRONG!

    If convicted at trial they BOTH would have faced 25 years to life in prison. Additionally, there is no good time/credit for murder convictions, meaning you serve the FULL 25 years and then are eligible for (“eligible” not granted) parole.

    Now you tell me, and all the other readers on here, was Nunez “scared into making a deal for a crime he didn’t commit” or did he simply see the writing on the wall?

    If you want to “SPIN” this into Arnold commutting the sentence due to an unfair sentencing issue, instead of the truth, which is dirty politics and favors, go right ahead.

    What side do you think the “OUTRAGE”, on both sides of the aisle regarding this shady commutation (rich/poor, white/minority, democrat/republican) is on? Not your side my friend.

    I’ve said enough and will say no more on this subject.

  • 29 MissingLu // Jan 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Anna said: ” You say that gave Nunez this deal because he was facing a murder charge. I say they gave him that deal because they didn’t think they could get a murder conviction. So they got him to plead to something he didn’t do.”

    WRONG on all counts here Anna –
    NO deals were ‘given’ to Nunez,
    NO ONE made Nunez plead to anything,
    NO ONE “OFFERRED” anything to Nunez.
    Jury selection started when Nunez and his laywer started turning in pleas.

    NO ONE gave anything to Nunez; it’s what he and his lawyer gave to the victim’s family. It’s what he plead guilty to. You don’t plead guilty if you aren’t guilty. He saw the writing on the wall and knew he’d get more time if he went to trial.
    His excuse for pleading guilty to save the heartache of a trial was B*&%$#@!.
    You fight if you are innocent. he wasn’t and knew it and plead guilty to get a lighter sentance.

    Goose, thank you for trying to enlighten her but it’s a lost cause; the light’s are on but nobody’s home……..

  • 30 Anna // Jan 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_17000017?nclick_check=1

    Daniel Kobil, a professor at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, who also is a clemency expert, agreed that it’s not necessarily wrong for a governor to pre-empt an appeal, noting the basis of Nuñez’s commutation — that he received the same sentence as Jett, who actually killed Santos.

    “Disparity of sentence when you’ve got a divergence of responsibility is an entirely reasonable basis for a commutation of this sort,” he said.

  • 31 theKaiser // Jan 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Its not surprising Anna, “the Latino Apologist” aka known as Sunny, has again irritated the blogging community with her loud typed lies and narrow-minded typed innuendoes. Don’t take Anna seriously. She types these comments with her head buried in the sand. Luckily, you don’t have to look at her while she is spewing the words that clearly register the level of her I.Q.

  • 32 Appalled! // Jan 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Does Anna get paid to write obnoxious commentary? At first I assumed she was on this frog/cat stabber’s legal team, but further reading of her comments revealed she couldn’t possibly have a high school diploma. How can someone rationalize the murder of a human being, comment on due process, and be so callous about it? Who would take this offensive person’s comments seriously? If her personality is this ugly, and her mind works in this manner, image what she looks like.

  • 33 Fry him!! // Jan 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Forget it folks. Anna is one of those jail bird thug lovers. There is no chance in getting her to fall out of love with her jail bird gang-banger. Forget logic and reason. Love is blind.

  • 34 Anna // Jan 8, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Appalled, I am not rationalizing the murder of a human being. I am sayng that the charge and the sentence should reflect the crime that was committed. And there are legal experts who agree with me.

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