By David Siders

On the day before Easter, Gov. Jerry Brown pardoned 65 people who served sentences years ago for various crimes.

The announcement was similar to one the Democratic governor made on Christmas Eve, when Brown issued the majority of the 128 pardons he granted last year.

The people pardoned Saturday were released from custody more than a decade ago and have not committed any crimes since being released, according to the Governor's Office. Most of the pardons were for drug or property crimes, though the group includes one murderer and two people convicted in manslaughter cases.

Brown is far more forgiving than his predecessors. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted 10 sentences and pardoned just 16 people while in office. Schwarzenegger's Democratic predecessor, Gray Davis, granted no pardons.

A pardon is of symbolic significance to recipients. It can also help in job applications and allows an ex-felon in most cases to own a gun.

(c)2013 The Sacramento Bee