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Nine months after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger controversially shortened the prison sentence of a political ally's son, Gov. Jerry Brown this afternoon announced that he has signed legislation requiring victim notification in such cases.

Assembly Bill 648, by Assemblyman Marty Block, D-San Diego, requires the governor to give written notice to local prosecutors in most cases at least 10 days before acting on an application to commute a prisoner's sentence. District attorneys must then try notifying victims in the case.

In a last-minute commutation, Schwarzenegger in January reduced the prison sentence of Esteban Núñez from 16 years to seven in a 2008 case in which Núñez, the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon.

The bill was one of 16 the Democratic governor announced signing this afternoon.

He vetoed three others, including legislation seeking to modify the state's overhaul of redevelopment agencies, the subject of pending litigation.

"Until the court issues its ruling in this case," Brown wrote, "it would be premature to consider the modifications proposed in this bill."


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