Arnie cuts jail term of ex-speaker's son

Srnold Schwarzenegger has commuted the manslaughter sentence of the son of California's former Assembly speaker, drawing criticism from the victim's family.

The outgoing Governor also granted clemency to a woman who killed her former pimp in a motel room when she was 16. The orders came just hours before Mr Schwarzenegger left office yesterday.

Mr Schwarzenegger said he believed the 16-year prison sentence that Esteban Nunez received was "excessive" as he reduced the term to seven years. Nunez is the son of Fabian Nunez, a Democrat who served as Assembly speaker – one of the most powerful political leadership positions in the state – from 2004 to 2008.

Esteban Nunez pleaded guilty in May to voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon for his role in a fight that killed a 22-year-old man near San Diego State University in 2008.

The Governor's commutation documents point out that Nunez received the same sentence as co-defendant Ryan Jett, despite the court acknowledging that Jett was the person who actually stabbed and killed Luis Dos Santos, and that Jett had a significant criminal record while Nunez had none.

But Fred Santos, the victim's father, criticised the commutation and said Nunez got special treatment because his father is close to the Governor.