Apparently Gov. Shwartzenkennedy made some kind of back room deal with former Speaker of the Assemby Fabian Nunez, father of the murderer.
Nuñez, although involved in the fight that ended in Santos' death, did not inflict the fatal knife wound. Schwarzenegger cited a finding by the court that it was Esteban Nuñez's friend Ryan Jett who stabbed Santos, "severing his heart."
Court found it wasn't Nuñez, who plead to manslaughter, but he still got the same 16 yr sentence as Ryan Jett.
The original sentence is suspicious but I don't like the Nuñez connection which is probably the only reason this got consideration.