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Brown issues pardons based on 'exemplary behavior'

  • In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, is Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown has issued pardons to 79 convicted felons who served their sentences and committed no other crimes for at least a decade.

Brown announced the pardons Monday, most for people who had been convicted of drug crimes. Others had convictions for theft, robbery, driving under the influence and other such offenses.

The Democratic governor singled out 61-year-old Thomas George Pfleger of Newport Beach for his philanthropic work.

A 79-year-old man was pardoned for a robbery he committed more than half a century ago. And a 76-year-old Arkansas prison chaplain was pardoned for drug possession and robbery in the 1960s.

A pardon does not erase a criminal record, but it can restore some rights. That could include owning firearms unless the conviction involved the use of a dangerous weapon.

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