Schwarzenegger comment infuriates Santos family

April 20, 2011 7:02:28 PM PDT
A homicide victim's mother is again condemning former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to reduce the prison sentence of a man connected to her son's death.

For the second time in as many weeks, Kathy Santos is criticizing Schwarzenegger, this time because he told Newsweek magazine that he did it to "help a friend." The friend is former Assembly speaker Fabian Nunez, father of Esteban Nunez who was convicted of manslaughter.

"So I think this shows that he'd rather take care of a well-connected thug than to really believe in the justice system," said Santos.

Schwarzenegger told Newsweek that his office "definitely made a mistake in not notifying" the Santos family that he was reducing Nunez's sentence from 16 years to seven years. Last week when another reporter asked him about his decision, the former governor made a snoring sound.

The Santos family has filed a lawsuit seeking to have the original sentence re-imposed.