SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown on Dec. 23 announced that he has granted 112 pardons and one commutation.
Individuals who have been convicted of a crime in California may apply to the governor for a pardon. Those granted pardons all completed their sentences and the majority were originally convicted of non-violent, drug-related crimes. All applicants for a pardon who were eligible obtained a Certificate of Rehabilitation, which is an order from a superior court declaring that a person convicted of a crime is now rehabilitated.
A gubernatorial pardon may be granted to people who have demonstrated exemplary behavior and have lived productive and law-abiding lives following their conviction. Pardons are not granted unless they are earned.
When a pardon is granted, the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are notified so that they may update their records on the applicant. The pardon is filed with the Secretary of State’s Office and the Legislature, and it is a public record.
Among the 112 is Michelle Lynn Yamamoto, a California resident who was sentenced on or about May 1, 1990, in Santa Clara County Superior Court for transporting a controlled substance. She served three years probation and 225 days in jail. She was discharged on May 1, 1993, having completed her sentence.
Yamamoto has complied with the provisions of Sections 4852.01 to 4585.2, inclusive, of the California Penal Code, which provide a procedure whereby a person may, after completion of his/her sentence, seek restoration of the rights of citizenship and apply for a pardon.
She has obtained from Santa Clara County Superior Court an order dated Aug. 5, 2015, evidencing that since her release from custody she has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted herself as a law-abiding citizen. By granting the Certificate of Rehabilitation, the court has recommended that she be granted a full pardon.
“By the laws of this state it is proper that I, as governor of the State of California, give testimony that, by completion of her sentence and good conduct in the community of her residence since her release, Michelle Lynn Yamamoto has paid her debt to society and earned a full and unconditional pardon,” Brown wrote.