Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Election 2020: Live Results | Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice

Nuñez: My Status Affected Son’s Criminal Case


Nunez Entire Interview


Former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez defended former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s controversial decision to commute his son’s sentence from 16 years to seven.

In an interview with California Capitol Network, Nuñez said his son was treated more harshly in San Diego’s courts because of his political status. He believed the ex-governor reversed a wrong that had been done to his son.

“When the justice system in San Diego was done with Estaban, they dealt with him very differently than they dealt with everyone else.," Nuñez said. "And so, to me, that wore very, very heavily on me because, I felt deeply, being who I am, hurt my son.”

He said the “tragic death” of Luis Santos, who was stabbed during a fight near San Diego State University in 2008, haunts the Nuñez family every day. He does not expect anyone to feel sorry for him and that his pain cannot compare to that of the Santos family.

The controversy over the shortened sentence has not ended. Both the victim’s family and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis have sued to nullify the commutation.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.