If Jerry Brown commutes every death row sentence California needs to get ready for this

Editor's note: The following column first appeared in the Orange Country Register.

Whenever a business decides to close its doors, it usually goes to great lengths to get rid of the remaining inventory. This is when we get the going-out-of-business “Blowout Sale:” guys in gorilla suits, and big-screen TVs for $199 — that actually weren’t stolen off a loading dock.

It is during these sales that businesses give deals to consumers who would otherwise never get anything of the sort.

Governors typically do the same thing with their constitutionally given powers to commute sentences and pardon convicted criminals.

As a lame duck four-term governor, Jerry Brown is already starting to give away the store, and this generosity could pay serious dividends for every jailbird with an ice pick and a bad temper.

This month alone, Brown issued 67 pardons and commutations. The governor’s mercy included commutations for 18 people who were serving life sentences, without the possibility for parole.

This month alone, Brown issued 67 pardons and commutations. The governor’s mercy included commutations for 18 people who were serving life sentences, without the possibility for parole.  He gave an outright pardon to a 42-year-old Fresno man from Cambodia who was convicted of murder in 1994 for shooting a gang rival, and was facing deportation by the Trump administration.

Now, former Brown appointees are calling on the governor to commute the sentences of all 748 death row inmates in the state.

Of the 748 inmates currently on death row, 18 have exhausted all their appeals and theoretically shouldn’t be making any plans to find out if the swallows make it back from Argentina to Capistrano next March.

There are more doozies in this unsavory bunch. Topping the list: Harvey Heishman, who raped an Oakland woman, then killed her, just before she could testify against him in 1979.  Right behind him: Richard Samayoa, who broke into a home in San Diego, and beat a young mother and her toddler to death with a wrench, in 1985. And not to be forgotten: Tiequon Cox, who murdered four family members of former NFL player and death-penalty advocate Kermit Alexander in Los Angeles.

But if former state public defender Quin Denvir has his way, the only chair these monsters will be sitting in … is at the barber shop.