Supreme Court Says California Has To Release 10,000 Inmates


California prisonsThe Supreme Court rejected Gov. Jerry Brown's request to delay the release of 10,000 inmates in a 6-3 decision Friday, the Associated Press reports.


Conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia would have granted Brown's request. The California governor asked for the delay to protect public safety.

A three-judge panel ordered Brown to release the inmates by the end of the year because of a huge overcrowding problem in the California prison system. The decision was a result of two separate class actions filed by mentally and physically ill inmates, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The 10,000-inmate reduction will put the prison system at 137.5% capacity, which would still be an improvement even though the prisons won't exactly be roomy.

"We are compelled to enforce the Federal Constitution and to enforce the constitutional rights of all persons, including prisoners," the three-judge panel wrote in June.


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