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brownoaklandport.jpgGov. Jerry Brown let about 82 percent of convicted killers' parole releases stand last year, continuing to use his power to block decisions of the state parole board relatively sparingly.

Brown reversed 100 of 577 parole grants he reviewed in 2013 and returned two cases to the state Board of Parole Hearings for reconsideration, according to a report to the Legislature released Friday.

Brown's reversal rate last year was nearly identical to the first two years of his term. The Democratic governor also reviewed 127 non-murder cases, sending 27 back for reconsideration by the full board, the governor's office said.

Among decisions Brown reversed was a parole grant for James Mackey, one of two former University of the Pacific football teammates sent to prison for their roles in the widely covered murder of a Stockton real estate agent in 1989. Mackey testified he and another man lured Laurence Carnegie to a vacant house outside the city, shot him with a crossbow and strangled him.

Michael Blatt, then a Stockton developer and former professional sports agent, stood trial twice in the case, each time resulting in a mistrial. He had been accused of plotting Carnegie's murder and conspiring to murder John Farley, a former professional football player, before charges against him were dismissed. Farley never was harmed.

Brown said in his reversal that Mackey had made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated, including earning a master's degree in 2008. But he said Mackey has not explained "how he could meticulously plan and execute a cold-blooded murder."

"Until he can give a better explanation for his actions," Brown wrote, "I do not think he is ready to be released."

Brown also reported Friday that he pardoned 193 people last year. Most of the pardons involved drug or property crimes committed more than a decade ago. A majority of them, in keeping with Brown's tradition, were announced previously on Christmas Eve.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at an event in Oakland on Nov. 1, 2013. Associated Press/Marcio Jose Sanchez


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