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Supreme Court Upholds Prisoner Release Order

A narrowly divided Supreme Court today upheld the massive prisoner release order in Brown v. Plata.  The impact will be primarily political given that Brown, automatically substituted for the Governator as defendant, actually wants to unleash hordes of thugs on the people of California.  A court order gives him political cover to do so, and legislation has already been rammed through, without hearings, and signed into law.  Justice Scalia notes at page 13 of his dissent "the inevitable murders, robberies, and rapes to be committed by the released inmates."

What is the message for law-abiding people in California?  Buy a gun.  Get a dog.  Put in an alarm system.  Even seriously consider bars on the windows.

Oh, and don't bother investing much in a car.  It will be open season on cars given that car thieves ("nonviolent offenders") will never go to prison no matter how many times they are caught.

Let us hope that in 2012 the voters of the United States continue on recovery of their good sense and the voters of California regain theirs.  With both houses of Congress in the hands of persons of sense, the Prison Litigation Reform Act can be tweaked to present travesties such as this.  When Californians come to realize just what they have done by giving control of the Legislature to the soft-on-crime crowd, perhaps they will come to their senses and throw the bums out.


I would add one other remedy law-abiding citizens of California might want to pursue: Move.

Let me recommend Virginia. We don't have the Ninth Circuit, and we don't have Jerry Brown. We do have, however, a functioning death penalty, low taxes and a solvent state.

The real problem is that California does not want to pay to house its prison population. Prisoner release is not the required remedy under the PLRA. The State is required to meet a percentage of capacity. Increasing capacity reduces that percentage.

I think punishment is a worthwhile state expenditure though diversionary tactics may be cost effective in certain cases. California was not willing to confront its ongoing crisis on either side of the equation. Unfortunately, my understanding is that the district court panel could not compel CA to spend money to build new facilities.

Californians and Americans should not blame Congress or the Courts - they should blame California.

The California Legislature certainly deserves the lion's share of the blame. No dispute there. However, the creation of a three-judge court consisting of three of the most pro-criminal judges in the entire federal judiciary is a truly horrifying spectacle and one deserving Congress's attention.

Fair enough on the composition of the three judge panel. I had not looked up the names.

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