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In the spirit of holiday forgiveness, Gov. Jerry Brown announced pardons on Tuesday for 127 people.

Everyone getting their names cleared finished serving their time more than a decade ago and have stayed out of trouble since, according to Brown's office. The clemency messages also testified that the people in question had become upstanding citizens who "exhibited good moral character" and "lived an honest and upright life."

Most of the individuals receiving full and unconditional pardons had been convicted of drug-related offenses. Of the 127, 93 had been convicted of possessing, transporting or selling marijuana and other controlled substances.

Robberies, burglaries and thefts accounted for most of the rest. In one eyebrow-raising instance, a man drunkenly "stole his neighbor's lawn mower and some frozen food items," according to the pardon message. A California woman burglarized a home "and took food to feed her children," another message states.

The number of people receiving pardons just before Christmas fell one short of the total number of pardons Brown handed down in 2012. Brown pardoned 128 convicted criminals in 2012, 79 of them on Christmas Eve, a marked increase from the 21 pardons he issued in 2011.

The gubernatorial pardons came several days after President Obama commuted the sentences of eight federal inmates serving long terms for crack-cocaine related offenses, Obama's latest effort to soften a legacy of harsh drug-related penalties.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown after announcing that his office has come to an agreement with four leaders of legislation on prison housing plan, on Sept. 9, 2013 in Sacramento California. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.



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