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News Scan

CA Governor asks Supreme Court to halt Release of 9,600 Inmates: Governor Jerry Brown asked Justice Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court to stay federal judicial panel's order requiring the release of 9,600 inmates back into California communities.  Patrick McGreevy and Paige St. John of the LA Times report that the federal order requires Brown to either begin preparing the release of thousands of inmates immediately, or come up with a different plan to solve the prison overcrowding issue.  The state argues that it needs more time to comply with the orders and believes that the release of thousands of inmates, including those who have been convicted of violent and serious offenses, is a dangerous solution.

California Counties Begin Holding Parole Hearings: Merced County Superior Court became the first local-level court in California to hold a parole hearing, a change required under the state's realignment law.  Ramona Giwargis of the Merced Sun-Star reports that Merced County held 8 parole-revocation arraignments yesterday, and some county officials are worried about the additional workload they will be presented with.  AB 109, California's prison realignment law, shifts the responsibility from the state to the county level for parole revocation hearings.

Convicted Murderers Released from Prison on a Technicality: More than a dozen convicted murderers in Maryland have been released from prison after the state overturned their convictions due to improper jury instructions in their cases.  Monique Griego of CBS Baltimore reports that the ruling applies to individuals convicted of crimes prior to 1980, and could entitle hundreds of inmates to new trials.  Prosecutors have the option of either retrying the case or setting the inmates free and placing them on probation.  So far, 13 inmates have been released, and the state plans to release seven more next month.

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