Written by The Business Journal Staff
Gov. Jerry Brown is granting 59 pardons, in keeping with his tradition of giving pardons to convicted offenders around major Christian holidays including Easter.
The round of pardons includes two cases originating in Kings County.
All those granted Good Friday pardons have already completed their sentences. Most were originally convicted of nonviolent drug or property crimes.
None are as high-profile as actor Robert Downey Jr., whom Brown pardoned before Christmas.
The Democratic governor is a former Jesuit seminarian. He says in a statement that the pardons recognize that people can turn their lives around after making mistakes.
A gubernatorial pardon does not erase a conviction. However, state and federal law enforcement agencies are informed and the pardon becomes a public record.
California’s longest-serving governor has issued more than 1,100 pardons, including about 400 during his first two terms decades ago.
Ronnie Lynn Rasmussen, a resident of Arizona, was among those pardoned. In 1980 he was sentenced in Kings County for transporting or selling a controlled substance. He served five years of probation and one year in jail, completing his sentence in 1985.
“He has shown that since his release from custody, he has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law abiding citizen,” according to Brown’s pardon order.
Marion Ray Burleson was also sentenced in Kings County to prison in 1994 for possession of a controlled substance while armed with a firearm. He served a year in prison and nearly two years on probation and parole, completing his sentecne in 1998.