Man sentenced to life in prison for SLO county armed robberies granted clemency
District Attorney Dan Dow tells officials, ‘start respecting victims’ rights’
–On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office announced that he was granting clemency to Tracey Pabon, a man convicted of multiple armed robberies in San Luis Obispo as well as prior violent convictions. District Attorney Dow released the following statement in response to the announcement:
In 1994, Tracey Pabon committed two armed robberies in San Luis Obispo County. Because he had two prior serious or violent convictions, on September 29, 1994, the Superior Court of California, County of San Luis Obispo, sentenced Pabon to 50 years to life for two counts of armed robbery. (Pursuant to California’s Three Strikes Law).
Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced clemency and commuted Mr. Pabon’s 50-year sentence to time already served. This was done without any contact with the victims of the armed robbery. In fact, my office was notified for the very first time today at 3:35 p.m. by email asking us to try to help them contact the victims… this was only 25 minutes before the Governors planned press release.
“It is time for our Governor and all other officials in our California legal system to start respecting victims’ rights. Victims deserve the courtesy of contact and an opportunity to be heard before action is taken to release an offender early or taking other action that may affect the victims,” said Dow.
View the email correspondence and DA Dow’s response in the posted pictures. (below)
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office is committed to ensuring that the Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights, enshrined in our state constitution, is respected and enforced.
“The governor didn’t even lift a finger to try to reach out to the victims of these armed robberies or their families before making his decision to commute the sentence,” Dow told the Paso Robles Daily News. “It might be that these victims would have no problem with it if they had a chance to weigh in. But he is so arrogant and so focused on offenders instead of crime survivors that he doesn’t give a damn about the rights of crime victims. And that pisses me off as a representative of the people of the State of California who takes crime victim’s rights seriously.”
Dow posted an email thread of correspondence from the office of Governor Newsom on Facebook:
The governor’s statement reads:
In 1994, Tracey Pabon committed two armed robberies. On September 29, 1994, the Superior Court of California, County of San Luis Obispo, sentenced Mr. Pabon to 50 years to life for two counts of robbery. Mr. Pabon was 31 years old at the time of the crimes and is now 58. He has been incarcerated for 27 years. While in prison, Mr. Pabon has maintained a good disciplinary record, has engaged in self-help programming, and has been enrolled in educational coursework.
Mr. Pabon’s application was reviewed by the Board of Parole Hearings, which voted at an en bane meeting to recommend a clemency grant. The California Supreme Court also made a recommendation for a clemency grant, a process required by the California Constitution for cases in which the applicant has been convicted of more than one felony.
Mr. Pabon committed serious crimes. Since then, Mr. Pabon has taken responsibility for his actions and has dedicated himself to his rehabilitation. I have carefully considered and weighed the evidence of Mr. Pabon’s positive conduct in prison and his good prospects for successful community reentry. I have concluded that Mr. Pabon merits an earlier opportunity to appear_ before the Board of Parole Hearings so it can determine whether he is suitable for parole.
This act of clemency for Mr. Pabon does not minimize or forgive his conduct or the harm it caused. It does recognize the work he has done since to transform himself.
Therefore, I, Gavin Newsom, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby commute the sentence of Tracey Pabon to make him eligible for immediate parole consideration and release upon a grant of parole subject to all applicable review periods.