And they say elections don’t matter…the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976 just resulted in the release of thousands of convicts into the general population. And every Democrat SCOTUS appointee still on the bench (along with the mercurial Anthony Kennedy) is culpable as well.
The court said in a 5-4 decision that the reduction is “required by the Constitution” to correct longstanding violations of inmates’ rights to adequate care for their mental and physical health. In 2009, the state’s prisons averaged nearly a death a week that might have been prevented or delayed with better medical care.
The order mandates a prison population of no more than 110,000 inmates, still far above the 80,000 the system was designed to hold.
There were more than 143,000 inmates in California’s 33 adult prisons as of May 11, so roughly 33,000 inmates will need to be transferred to other jurisdictions or released.
“The violations have persisted for years. They remain uncorrected,” Justice Anthony Kennedy, a California native, wrote for the court. The lawsuit challenging the adequacy of mental health care was filed in 1990.
To emphasize the conditions, Kennedy took the unusual step of including photos of overcrowding, including cages where mentally ill inmates were held while they awaited a bed.
The court’s four Democratic appointees joined with Kennedy in upholding a court order issued by three federal judges in California, all appointees of President Jimmy Carter.
Justice Scalia called the ruling “perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation’s history,” and he has a point: 18 other states joined California’s side, which lost. So 19 states may now find themselves forced to transfer or unleash thousands and thousands of convicts on an unsuspecting public. How many of these convicts are illegal aliens, and how many of those will get the proper justice of deportation rather than mere release?
That this insane ruling comes in the name of convicts’ health care puts the whole thing beyond parody. Our robed masters have really outdone themselves with this one.
Update: It looks like about 18,000 of California’s incarcerated convicts are illegal aliens.
The governor’s office estimates that in 2011 about 11.2 percent of individuals incarcerated in California prisons are illegal aliens (18,300 inmates). It costs the state about $938.6 million to house these undocumented immigrants, which translates to about $51,256.83 per person. The federal government is supposed to reimburse this cost via the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program; in reality, California only receives a 9.4 percent refund of the actual costs associated with incarcerating illegal aliens in its prisons.