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SCOTUS Tells CA To Free 1/4 Of Prisoners

From a seemingly unfazed Los Angeles Times:

Supreme Court orders California to release tens of thousands of prison inmates

By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
May 23, 2011

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.

And our ruling elite wonder why there is a Tea Party. The real question is why have we put up with this kind of high-handed behavior from our government masters for so long?

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.

California has 142,000 prisoners behind bars. So this boils down to freeing about one quarter of them. Meanwhile, illegal aliens make up about one third of California’s current prison population.

So wouldn’t one solution be to have Mexico and other foreign countries incarcerate their native sons? Even if California paid them to do so it would surely save billions. (Of course, in reality, these illegal aliens are not deported from the US even after they serve their sentences.)

Short of that, California could outsource some of its prisoners to other (right to work) states, which would be glad for the income. This would also cut down on any alleged overcrowding and still save billions of dollars.

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.

How much does it cost to buy or rent portable toilets? Wouldn’t that be far cheaper and safer for society?

Kennedy insisted that the state had no choice but to release more prisoners

Isn’t that funny. We can think of any number of other alternatives. (We just offered a few options above.) But, then again, we aren’t Supreme Court Justices who are in love with the ACLU.

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

He left out "dangerous."

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.

For the record, there aren’t many "happy go lucky felons" in state prisons. For instance, whatever drug abusers and shoplifters and tax cheats that are still incarcerated in California are sitting in county jails, not state prisons. State prisons are reserved for serious criminals.

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.

Supreme Court Justices are not limited by the law. Not if they are Democrats.

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

Will the number of public sector union prison guards and administrators be reduced accordingly?

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

So you know this was absolutely the right decision for the country. What a relief.

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."

Isn’t it great to see the ACLU so concerned about saving the California taxpayer money? Still, if costs are an issue, perhaps a way could be found to reduce the outrageous salaries, vacation time, healthcare benefits and gold-plated pensions that California prison guards and administrators currently enjoy.

Just last month a report from the same Los Angeles Times pointed out that the these 32,000 prison guards get more than $100,000 a year in salaries and benefits. (And Governor Brown has just boosted their vacation benefits, as payback to them for their help in getting him elected.) If those outrageous costs were reduced it might not cost $25,000 a year to lock these criminals up. And there would be plenty of money to build more jail space.

But what is more important? Public safety or union salaries and pensions?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “SCOTUS Tells CA To Free 1/4 Of Prisoners”

  1. Mithrandir says:

    Ah Government!

    Looks like all those police and prosecutors trying to get ✓ marks in their “W” column is over-burdening the system.
    But don’t worry!They will have another opportunity to get more ✓s from the same people who will be out, unemployable, and be apprehended and prosecuted again.

    *Can gov’t make cheap holding pens like they do in Arizona? NO.
    *Can the gov’t just stop prosecuting victimless crimes like drug use? NO.
    *Can the gov’t plug up the border so we don’t have illegals clogging our court/prison system? NO.
    *Can police stop predatorily rounding up people left and right? NO.
    *Can gov’t people stop cranking out laws criminalizing every portion of our lives? NO.

    ~~~~So…..we have what we have. It’s the government we deserve.~~~~~

  2. Chinnubie says:

    I love how they claim costs are the big issue and we need to let these felons out to release the pressure on the system. There are some real problems here, first and foremost the crimes these fine folks are going to commit will surely cost far more in damages to lives and property. What about all of the lawsuits that will spring up because the state let some criminal out when they should have been locked up. The proper thing to do would be to build more prison space. It’s safe to say our prison system does not rehabilitate prisoners so even the non-violent drug user wil cost the state more when he/she begins robbing and stealing for thier drug habit. The forward thinking liberal never wants a prison in thier backyard but when they start getting mugged & robbed in greater numbers does anyone think they’ll realize it’s their own fault for what has happened to them? Thankfully most of California contains forward thinking liberals so, I guess they can reap what the sow!

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    I presume that there won’t be any parole or other monitoring system to keep eyes on the blood suckers of society. Therefore I suggest that “ALL” law abiding citizens start packing heat. Send these bastards where they really belong. Gubbamint has told you and me that they are no longer willing to keep the streets safe from those that wish you and your family harm.
    Joe Sloth, the criminal, no longer fears the system and has beaten it with the help of a few rat f*#k criminal judges. We’ve got the Wild, Wild West in the streets of America and I blame the Obamao Regime for everything that is wrong about this.

    So when a few of barrys thug monkeys B & E your crib, engage them in a firefight. Be their judge and jury in one fell swoop. If not, they will be back on the streets and doing it to someone else A.S.A.P..

    • Mithrandir says:

      Right, and if you kill a criminal with your 2nd Amendment Right, there is no room in prison to put you, so you will get no prison time, or deferred prison time, sometime when a cell becomes available.

  4. proreason says:

    You may consider than prisoners.

    Rest assured that the marxists consider than their “base”.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Originally, one brow-raising element of the ruling in particular for me was how it’s based on the prisoner’s entitlement to a level of HealthCare. But there’s still a pretty large leap of logic between state obligations in this case and the individual Federal Mandate, so fortunately I don’t think this is much of a bell-weather on that ruling.

      What a terrible testament to the Liberal wrecking ball swinging freely through the Fool’s Gold State. Expanding the base indeed, they thrive on chaos as it breeds demands for more government.

  5. tranquil.night says:

    Let’s take our compassion to the next level and give these goofballs nice, foreclosed houses in Middle Class, family neighborhoods. We’d be giving them everything they need and to which they are entitled for a fair start at that 5th, 6th and 102nd chance!

  6. Geordie1736 says:

    OK — Send 6000 to each neighborhood of the five justices that voted to release the felons. I am sure they will understand.

    • GetBackJack says:

      Geo for the win

      PS – laws, taxes and consequences are for the little people, bub.

  7. Chase says:

    Seems to me there must be a less extreme way for a couple of these justices to get an autograph and some personal note of thanks from the Lohans.

  8. Papa Louie says:

    Why didn’t California apply for stimulus money to build more prisons? They had a shovel-ready project ready to go. But I have another suggestion for them. Release every prisoner who comes down with a permanent illness. That would save them healthcare costs and reduce prison overcrowding at the same time. They could also drop off ill prisoners at the doors of hospitals in the neighborhoods of Supreme Court Justices. Allow the Justices to see the consequences of their decisions. Maybe they will rethink the idea that the rights of convicted criminals are more important than the rights of law abiding citizens.

    • Right of the People says:

      Seeing as how the Justices all live in the greater DC area, at least a good portion of the year, who would notice if they released another 32K criminals there? They would blend right in, especially if you gave them a suit and tie to wear.

      Here in Vermont we send thousands of prisoners to Virginia instead of building more prisons. It’s a win/win for both states. We don’t have to build and maintain extra facilities and Virginia gets some needed income. Seems to me Arizona’s pretty close to Mexifornia, Sherrif Joe could use the extra income. I’m sure he’s got some extra pink jumpsuits and tents for the Mexifornian criminals.

  9. canary says:

    Do not forget Obama new regulations make it the easiest and most profitable to both the company and the felon released from prison within a year, to get jobs. Will the ACLU insist on affirmative action or seniority, like 3 time losers.

  10. P. Aaron says:

    Are we talkin’ jail here or the Hotel St. Regis?

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