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View Full Version : Legal Supreme Court orders California to release tens of thousands of prison inmates


Stinger
05-23-2011, 11:15 AM
The 5-4 decision represents one of the largest prison release orders in U.S. history. The court majority says overcrowding has caused 'suffering and death.' In a sharp dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia warns 'terrible things are sure to happen.'

By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau

8:56 AM PDT, May 23, 2011
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WASHINGTON The Supreme Court ordered California on Monday to release tens of thousands of its prisoners to relieve overcrowding, saying that "needless suffering and death" had resulted from putting too many inmates into facilities that cannot hold them in decent conditions.

It is one of the largest prison release orders in the nation's history, and it sharply split the high court.

Justices upheld an order from a three-judge panel in California that called for releasing 38,000 to 46,000 prisoners. Since then, the state has transferred about 9,000 state inmates to county jails. As a result, the total prison population is now about 32,000 more than the capacity limit set by the panel.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, speaking for the majority, said California's prisons had "fallen short of minimum constitutional requirements" because of overcrowding. As many as 200 prisoners may live in gymnasium, he said, and as many as 54 prisoners share a single toilet.

Kennedy insisted that the state had no choice but to release more prisoners. The justices, however, agreed that California officials should be given more time to make the needed reductions.

In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia called the ruling "staggering" and "absurd."

He said the high court had repeatedly overruled the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for ordering the release of individual prisoners. Now, he said, the majority were ordering the release of "46,000 happy-go-lucky felons." He added that "terrible things are sure to happen as a consequence of this outrageous order." Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

In a separate dissent, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the ruling conflicted with a federal law intended to limit the power of federal judges to order a release of prisoners.

State officials and lawyers for inmates differ over just how many prisoners will have to be released. In recent figures, the state said it had about 142,000 inmates behind bars, and the judges calculated the prison population would need to be reduced to about 110,000 to comply with constitutional standards.

Kennedy said the judges in California overseeing the prison-release order should "accord the state considerable latitude to find mechanisms and make plans" that are "consistent with the public safety."

The American Civil Liberties Union said the court had "done the right thing" by addressing the "egregious and extreme overcrowding in California's prisons."

David Fathi, director of the ACLU national prison project, said "reducing the number of people in prison not only would save the state taxpayers half a billion annually, it would lead to the implementation of truly rehabilitative programs that lower recidivism rates and create safer communities."

Meanwhile, the court took no action on another California case in which a conservative group is challenging the state's policy of granting in-state tuition at its colleges and universities to students who are illegal immigrants and have graduated from its high schools.

The justices said they would consider the appeal in a later private conference.

Copyright 2011, Tribune Interactive

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/sc-dc-0524-court-prisons-web-20110523,0,2337401.story

Saul Good
05-23-2011, 12:09 PM
Can't they just execute 30,000 of them?

vailpass
05-23-2011, 12:25 PM
Can't they just execute 30,000 of them?

LMAO

I can't tell from the article, are they discussing felons, violent offenders or maybe just people in jail for marijuana possession or other non-violent offenses?

KILLER_CLOWN
05-23-2011, 12:46 PM
LMAO

I can't tell from the article, are they discussing felons, violent offenders or maybe just people in jail for marijuana possession or other non-violent offenses?

This would prove quite useful, if it's the kind of people that evade taxes, sell bunny rabbits or mistreat their own bodies then no harm done.

ROYC75
05-23-2011, 12:59 PM
Send them to Survivor Island.

Cave Johnson
05-23-2011, 01:01 PM
LMAO

I can't tell from the article, are they discussing felons, violent offenders or maybe just people in jail for marijuana possession or other non-violent offenses?

Given CA's three strikes law, there have to be tens of thousands of non-violent offenders in their prison pop of 170K.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/17/local/la-me-prisons17-2010mar17

vailpass
05-23-2011, 01:02 PM
I hope Snake Pliskin gets out but they need to leave Judge Dredd locked up.

vailpass
05-23-2011, 01:03 PM
Given CA's three strikes law, there have to be tens of thousands of non-violent offenders in their prison pop of 170K.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/17/local/la-me-prisons17-2010mar17

Wow. IF they are going to release prisoners they would have to come from this sort of non-violent category wouldn't they?

Jaric
05-23-2011, 01:22 PM
Wow. IF they are going to release prisoners they would have to come from this sort of non-violent category wouldn't they?

Nah. Having just watched reefer madness, I can assure you that innocent confused looking pothead is a ticking time bomb that when he explodes no one in the vicinity will be spared his rape and violence filled wrath.

Better let the murders, kidnappers, and rapists free. At least we know they'll end up right back in prison and we won't have to deal with the pycological torture of not knowing when they're going to blow and go on a crime spree.

Barak Obuttocks
06-19-2011, 11:10 AM
Hurry up and get them registered to vote, ACORN!

Chocolate Hog
06-19-2011, 12:05 PM
The Raiders can only carry 53 guys.

ForeverChiefs58
06-19-2011, 04:03 PM
they could hold gladiator style prison fights in the new LA stadium. I know most would just assume they already have that and they just call it home of the raiders.

fan4ever
06-19-2011, 11:20 PM
Wouldn't building new prisons be considered a "shovel ready" type of opportunity? Imagine the jobs created.

Bump
06-20-2011, 10:20 AM
ya, send them to an island and make a reality TV show. It was be the best show ever.