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January 13, 2010

"Judges issue order to cut California prison population"

The title of this post is the headline of this article from the Sacramento Bee.  The piece provides the latest news about the latest chapter of the federal litigation over the prison population in California:

The long-awaited final order to reduce California's prison population was issued Tuesday by three federal judges who signed off on a revised plan submitted in November by the Schwarzenegger administration.

But the judges postponed the effective date of their order pending U.S. Supreme Court consideration of it and another order in August requiring formulation of the plan. The administration is waiting for the high court to act on its request for a review of the August order.

The three judges are a special panel appointed by the chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acting under authority granted by the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996. The act says an appeal goes directly to the Supreme Court. It would be the first such case to be heard by the high court if it chooses to enter the bitterly fought struggle over crowded conditions and their impact on inmate health care in prisons.

Aaron McLear, spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said in an e-mail late Tuesday: "The order accepts our plan but rejects our request for the tools we would need to implement it." His reference is apparently to the administration's lengthy list of state law waivers that would be required from the judges in order to implement the reduction. The list was part of the submitted plan....

"We expect that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear our appeal on whether federal judges have the authority to order the early release of prisoners in our state," McLear said. "We will fight any decision that orders early release and endangers public safety."

Additional old and new media coverage can be found at the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle and at Crime & Consequences.

January 13, 2010 at 05:57 PM | Permalink

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"The three judges are a special panel appointed by the chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acting under authority granted by the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996."
Do you know if Alex Kozinski handpicked those three, or if he just oversaw some random drawing?

Posted by: . | Jan 13, 2010 7:26:19 PM

I do not know what harm has taken place from over-crowding. I do know any prematurely released prisoner must be go to a halfway house. It should be located on the street where these judges live after seizure of all the neighbors' properties under the Kelo decision.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 14, 2010 5:39:11 AM

Making an argument that state law doesn't permit a remedy when you have been found in violation of federal constitutional requirements doesn't make much sense. I would have thought CA would be better off arguing that the panel order goes too far or even that the state is not in violation -- though the latter would be tough since they previously admitted being in violation in order to gain some time.

And I would have also thought that the CA government would have grasped at any path out of their budget nightmare that gave the politicians someone else to blame.

Someone needs to remind voters that they can't have it all, no matter how much they wish otherwise.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jan 14, 2010 11:22:44 AM

Andersonville did not exist as long as this litigation.
If a government, be it rebel, nazi, communist, or so called Democratic, cannot house prisoners humanely, then that government should fall.
What is Andersonville? I knew that some of you might ask that question. The boy actor from Austria does not have the Act correct.

Posted by: mpb | Jan 15, 2010 11:35:59 AM

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GOD DOES NOT HAVE MANDATE WITH U.S. SUPREME COURT 2 CONTINUE ALLOWING POSSIBLE WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS TO BE INFLICTED ON OUR AMERICAN POOR !!!

**TROY DAVIS & MUMIA ABU ~JAMAL ~ ARE HAVING PRAYERS FOR JUSTICE SAID FOR THEM WORLD~WIDE ..WE CAN ALL ONLY HOPE AND PRAY THAT EVERYONE IN OUR U.S.CONGRESS THAT KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS HOW UNJUST OUR U.S JUDICIAL SYSTEM CAN BE WITH OUR POORER AMERICANS,BECOMES ACTIVE IN MAKING SURE THAT TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA AND MUMIA ABU~JAMAL OF PENNSYLVANIA RECEIVE FAIR AND JUST TRIALS BEFORE ANY POSSIBLE WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS TAKE PLACE.
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June 2008 George Mason University Symposium, hosted by Senator Webb and the GMU Administration of Justice Department, "Drugs in America: Trafficking, Policy and Sentencing," October 2008 Senator Webb's Keynote Address to the Brookings Institution's Policy Roundtable on the Challenges to Prisoner Re-entry, December 2008 NEWS ARTICLES & COMMENTARY Virginian Pilot editorial: "Time to reconsider U.S. justice system," April 6, 2009 Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star: "Behind-bars review," April 5, 2009 The Washington Post Writers Group: "Webb Leads the Charge for Much-Needed Drug, Prison Reform," April 5, 2009 Economist: "A Nation of Jailbirds," April 2, 2009 Daily Press: "Go After the Real Problem," March 31, 2009 New York Times: "Reviewing Criminal Justice," March 30, 2009 Lynchburg News & Advance: "Webb Takes on Politics' Third Rail: Prison Reform," March 29, 2009 Salon.com: "Jim Webb's courage v. the "pragmatism" excuse for politicians," March 28, 2009 The Virginian Pilot Editorial:

"Time to Rethink Goals of Prison," January 5, 2009 Roanoke Times Editorial: "The Criminal Justice System Needs Help," January 5, 2009 Las Vegas Sun Editorial: "Voice for Broken Prisons," January 3, 2009 U.S. News & World Report: "James Webb Shows Leadership Regarding Prison Reform," January 2, 2009 New York Times Editorial: "Sen. Webb's Call for Prison Reform," January 1, 2009 Washington Post: "Webb Sets His Sights On Prison Reform," December 29, 2008 Daily Press: "Alternative to Jail for Addicts Gains New Supporter," December 28, 2008 The Virginian Pilot: "Senator Elevates Debate on Failed Drug, Prison Policies," October 18, 2008 The Roanoke Times Editorial: "A Sensible Call for Sentencing Reform," October 13, 2008 Washington Post Op-Ed: "Two Separate Societies: One in Prison, One Not," April 15, 2008

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Posted by: LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | Feb 24, 2010 6:56:16 PM

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