Schwarzenegger cut the 16-year manslaughter sentence in half for 21-year-old Esteban Nunez just hours before leaving office. Nunez had pleaded guilty months earlier in the stabbing death of a student in 2008. The decision has angered law enforcement and the family of the victim and has led to proposed legislation that would take away a governor's last-minute clemency authority.
The decision also threatens to overshadow the former governor's legacy as a budget-minded reformer and big-thinking environmental steward.
Schwarzenegger noted that Nunez had no prior criminal record before the fight and that Nunez was not the one who stabbed the victim.