Outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown has declined a request by San Francisco Mayor London Breed to grant clemency to her brother for a manslaughter conviction for which he was sentenced to 44 years in prison in 2000.
Breed’s brother, Napoleon Brown, was convicted in the death of then-25-year-old Lenties White, whom he had pushed from a getaway car after an armed robbery. She was struck and killed by a drunk driver in oncoming traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Last week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Breed had asked the governor to grant Brown clemency. It also reported that Mayor Breed had been an alibi witness for her brother at his trial.
Brown might have seemed likely to grant the request. The Calmatters blog called him the “most forgiving governor in modern California history” this week, noting: “Since 2011, Brown has pardoned 1,332 inmates, nearly four times more than the previous four governors combined. It’s also more than three times as many pardons as Brown issued during his first stint as governor between 1975 and 1983.” He issued 143 pardons this week, prior to leaving office.
Some of the notable pardons included pardons to husband-and-wife Jason Burnett and Heather Steels Burnett, who were convicted of drug crimes more than a decade ago and lost their home in Paradise, California, in the recent Camp Fire, the Associated Press reported. Mrs. Burnett now works as a drug counselor and barely escaped the flames in Paradise after rescuing the family dog. She even phoned her husband to say goodbye, the AP reported.
The governor also ordered that new tests be conducted on physical evidence in the 1983 quadruple-murder for which Kevin Jones, then an escapee from prison, was convicted, the Los Angeles Times reported.
But Napoleon Breed was not among the beneficiaries. Mayor Breed’s request was denied without further explanation, the San Francisco Chronicle observed. She can renew her request with incoming Governor Gavin Newsom next year.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.