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Governor Brown Pardons Santa Barbara Drug Dealer

Richard DeLeon One of 65 People to Receive Symbolic Gesture


A man convicted of drug possession in Santa Barbara County more than 20 years ago was one of 65 people pardoned by Governor Jerry Brown the day before Easter.

Richard DeLeon was sentenced in October 1991 for possession of a narcotic with the intent to sell, according to the pardon document, and served four years and eight months on probation. Since 1996, he has “lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen,” according to a 2008 order from the Santa Barbara Superior Court.

A pardon, which is filed with the Secretary of State and State Legislature, is of great symbolic significance to the recipient and can help with job applications.

Most of the 65 people granted pardons had committed lower-level drug crimes similar to DeLeon’s. All of them had completed their sentences and been out of custody for more than a decade.

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