A California appeals court has upheld former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to dramatically reduce the manslaughter sentence of a political ally's son.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ruled Tuesday that Schwarzenegger's actions may be seen as deserving of censure and grossly unjust. But the judges say the governor didn't violate the state constitution by failing to notify the victim's family beforehand.

On his last day in office in 2011, Schwarzenegger commuted the sentence of Esteban Nunez to seven years from 16 years in the stabbing death of Luis Santos in San Diego.

A spokesman for San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis says the office will appeal the ruling. The district attorney and Santos' parents sued to overturn Schwarzenegger's decision.