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July 4, 2013

"Judges refuse to delay order to release 9,600 California inmates"

The title of this post is the headline of this latest report from California concerning the on-going (and seemingly never-ending) prison litigation. Here are the highlights:

The federal judges who last month ordered Gov. Jerry Brown to release 9,600 state inmates or find another cure to overcrowding refused Wednesday to delay their edict while the governor appeals their cap on the prison population to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The judges' June 20 order, still in effect, requires the Brown administration to begin preparations for freeing inmates immediately unless it has another way to comply with the population limit.

Brown and his lawyers had asked the jurists — U.S. District Judges Lawrence Karlton and Thelton Henderson and 9th Circuit Appeals Justice Stephen Reinhardt — to delay the order to give the state time to take its appeal to the high court. They vowed Wednesday to persist in that effort.

"We will seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court," said state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman. She said the state would begin complying with the existing order, but "we look forward to making our case to the Supreme Court justices that no further reduction in the prison population is needed."

In the interim, California authorities must provide a system to identify inmates eligible for early release. State officials told federal judges in a filing late Wednesday that they were doing so but also were "assessing alternatives" to early releases for good behavior and had asked the court's medical overseer for a list of "low-risk elderly" inmates who might be paroled early.

Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard said the state also is prepared to continue to send inmates out of state, though the Legislature has not acted on a request for $300 million to fund those transfers. Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has said he does not intend to take up that proposal.

In its request for a stay, the state contended that enacting the judges' requirement that inmates receive increased good-behavior credits to shorten their prison terms would result in changes that "cannot be stopped or undone," at a risk to public safety.

Lawyers representing inmates in the two class-action lawsuits underlying the release order countered that to do nothing would "prolong ongoing irreparable harm — including illness and death" among the 132,000 prisoners they represent. The lawsuits assert that overcrowding results in constitutionally inadequate care for inmates.

In rejecting Brown's request for more time Wednesday, the judges noted that California has been under the population reduction order for four years and said the state had a "long history of ... noncompliance."...

Inmates' lawyers said they doubted the Supreme Court would grant Brown a stay. "The Court has laid to rest every argument that Governor Brown has for not promptly reducing the prison population to constitutionally acceptable levels so that prisoners can get adequate healthcare," said Don Specter, lead attorney for the Prison Law Office, representing inmates in the core medical care lawsuit.

Although California is weeks away from opening its 34th prison, a medical facility near Stockton, officials have not taken other steps to reduce crowding beyond Brown's "realignment" program. That policy took effect in late 2011, requiring counties to house low-level felons and parole violators who otherwise would have been sent to state prisons.

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July 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

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Comments

There is no arguing with these little Caesars on the bench. They only care about criminals, and care nothing about victims.

My only reply would be, "I demand the residential addresses of all of youse."

Governor Brown should then seize 400 properties around the home of each judge under Kelo, and plant 8 felons in a halfway house program in each.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 4, 2013 2:25:55 PM

'rat "judges" doing what 'rat "judges" do . . . .

I got an idea--why don't we move the 9600 into neighborhoods where those 'rat judges live?

Posted by: federalist | Jul 4, 2013 4:19:09 PM

nice fed. But a better place might be the neighborhoods of the rat politicians who refuse to spend the funds needed to legally keep em locked up live.

Plus of couse some could go into the regular neighborhoods where the sheeple live who keep voting the little shits back into office.

Oh wait. That will happen once they are released!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 5, 2013 4:37:14 AM

Blown out of proportion...CAlif tosses'em back in prison for minor parole violations..
IE: Late for a parole meeting, late not absconded..alcohol in their system....

Some day these people are gonna get out anyway.. By cutting them an early rel date, its not going to hurt public safety at all. Of coarse unless the conditions are so bad, they are living 2 steps up from a n animal...Then its still all on Calif and their fine staff.. Who cares, let'em out...It doesn't take a mental giant to understand that 60% of the dudes in the slammer arenot murderers, rapist etc..Its a political cleche, to sound good and attract votes....How about the politicians start contributing towards own health care, then loose some weight so they don't cost us even more mola for their weak illness they get..

If america would start demanding some things from their public officials, maybe things would get done timely...Sorry, I forgot Washington doesn't even have a Budget, nor had one for a very long time..Nor do they plan on having one going forward...So why would a measly state as screwed up as calif is, bother to be different.

Posted by: MidWest Guy | Jul 5, 2013 9:32:43 AM

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