Action man Arnold Schwarzenegger is fast becoming California's most popular Governor among convicts and those keen on prison reforms.

A new LOS ANGELES TIMES investigation reveals the TERMINATOR star has granted freedom to 48 convicted murderers so far in his first year in office - 40 more than his predecessor Gray Davis released in five years. Schwarzenegger has also freed 10 other people serving life sentences.

The Governor's spokeswoman TERRI CARBAUGH says, "(He) believes that people can reform and be reformed. When he sits down with his attorneys to review parole matters, he's not thinking about the political consequences. He's thinking about public safety and the individual at hand."

But Schwarzenegger's leniency isn't popular among those worried about public safety.

GREG EMERSON of Los Angeles Sheriff's Professional Association says, "I can't think of a more frightening thing for public safety."

Crime Victims United of California spokeswoman NINA SALARNO-ASHFORD, whose sister was murdered by an ex-boyfriend, argues, "Is one murderer being released worth the life of another child because that's what we have to counter balance?"

20/09/2004 02:44