The controversial decision to shorten Esteban Nuñez's prison sentence has obscured a more important commutation that outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger granted a young woman who has fought to turn her life around from its almost unbelievably bad beginning.
Sara Kruzan had been abused physically and sexually for most of her young life before she was gang raped, then pushed into a life of prostitution at age 13 by the neighborhood pimp. When she was 16, she robbed and killed the man, a crime for which she was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Sixteen years later, Kruzan has earned an associate's degree through the local community college, has participated in many of the prison's rehabilitation programs and has shown a level of growth and maturity that makes her a promising candidate for rejoining society. Schwarzenegger's decision to reduce her sentence to 25 years to life with the possibility of parole gives her a chance to do just that.
It's important to note that Kruzan's commuted sentence doesn't mean she will be freed from prison. Rather, it gives her an incentive to continue her rehabilitation and an opportunity to show a parole board that she has done so; her legal team believes she'll be eligible for parole several years from now.