- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California Gov. Jerry Brown granted 59 pardons on Good Friday, in keeping with his tradition of giving pardons to convicted offenders around major Christian holidays including Easter.

All have already completed their sentences. Most were originally convicted of nonviolent, drug-related or property crimes, though they include five robberies and several weapons charges.

None are as high-profile as actor Robert Downey Jr., whom Brown pardoned before Christmas.

“These pardons recognize - and even affirm - that people can turn their lives around after making mistakes and become solid members of their community,” the Democratic governor, a former Jesuit seminarian, said in a statement.

A gubernatorial pardon does not erase a conviction, but state and federal law enforcement agencies are informed and the pardon becomes a public record.

The state’s longest-serving governor has now issued 1,146 pardons, including 742 in the past five years and 404 during his first eight years in office from 1975-1983, according to his office.

Brown has restored a practice that largely lapsed under his three immediate predecessors.

Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger granted 15, Democrat Gray Davis granted none, and Republican Pete Wilson granted 13.

Before them, Republican Ronald Reagan granted nearly 600, and the GOP’s George Deukmejian, more than 300, according to Brown’s office.

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