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  #1  
Old 05-23-2011, 05:23 PM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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Default Supreme Court backs cuts to CA prison population

Supreme Court backs cuts to CA prison population
The Supreme Court has upheld an order requiring California to cut its prison population by thousands of inmates to improve health care for those who remain behind bars.

Supreme Court Rules California Must Free Tens of Thousands of Inmates
A sharply divided Supreme Court Monday affirmed a controversial prisoner reduction plan forced on California prison administrators that requires the state to reduce its inmate population by tens-of-thousands to ease overcrowding.

The 5-4 decision authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, a California native, is a wholesale acceptance of a ruling by a special three-judge panel tasked with resolving chronic overcrowding in the state's penal system. The February 2009 decision orders California to reduce its prison population that has at times run nearly double its capacity. Approximately 37,000 to 46,000 inmates will have to be released in order for the state to comply with the ruling.

"After years of litigation, it became apparent that a remedy for the constitutional violations would not be effective absent a reduction in the prison system population," Kennedy wrote in an opinion joined by the court's more liberal members. In an unusual occurrence, the opinion included an appendix showing three pictures of the overcrowded facilities.

Critics of California's prison system contend the cells are so overrun with inmates that proper care has been obliterated. Kennedy cites examples of prisoners with mental or physical health needs having to wait months for inadequate care. He cites one example of an inmate who was held for nearly 24 hours in a cage and standing in a pool of his own urine. Others died while seeking medical attention that was seemingly delayed because of the backlog of cases.

"If a prison deprives prisoners of basic sustenance, including adequate medical care, the courts have a responsibility to remedy the resulting Eighth Amendment violation," Kennedy declared noting the Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

The ruling gives the state some flexibility when it comes to how it goes about reducing its prison population even suggesting that three judge panel that originally issued the order could extend a two-year compliance order if it felt the state was making progress in its efforts to reduce the inmate population to 137.5 percent of capacity.

While Kennedy recognized the "grave concern" of releasing prisoners in large numbers he nonetheless supported the premise that the state's prisons have simply become too overcrowded.
"Absent compliance through new construction, out-of-state transfers, or other means ... the state will be required to release some number of prisoners before their full sentences have been served."
Justice Antonin Scalia fired away in a dissent joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, calling the ruling a judicial travesty. "Today the court affirms what is perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation's history: an order requiring California to release the staggering number of 46,000 convicted criminals."
Scalia, who read part of his dissent from the bench, expressed concern that the ruling upholds the idea that judges can institute their policy preferences in place of elected lawmakers and that the reach of the decision is simply too broad.
"It is also worth noting the peculiarity that the vast majority of inmates most generously rewarded by the release order -- the 46,000 whose incarceration will be ended -- do not form part of any aggrieved class even under the Courtís expansive notion of constitutional violation," Scalia wrote in dissent. "Most of them will not be prisoners with medical conditions or severe mental illness; and many will undoubtedly be fine physical specimens who have developed intimidating muscles pumping iron in the prison gym."

Chief Justice John Roberts joined a separate dissent written by Justice Samuel Alito that also questioned the wisdom of giving federal judges the authority to run state penal systems. Their dissent also faulted the majority for not taking into greater consideration the recent progress of state officials to improve prison conditions and the concerns about public safety.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011...#ixzz1NEBl0Ukp
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2011, 10:03 PM
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Ayatollahgondola Ayatollahgondola is offline
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The question is, how will they decide which ones are let free?

There's no jobs, so that leaves public assistance, and coincidently, look what else happened today:

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/23/364...o-collect.html

Quote:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- People who are convicted of drug-related felonies could soon be collecting California food stamps.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/23/364...#ixzz1NFNcbiiF
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2011, 08:30 AM
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One more good reason to end the Drug War. Completely decriminalize simple possession of anything derived from plant products. Remove from prison anyone prosecuted for simple possession. Fines for anyone caught distributing the stuff. Suck the life out of the scum distributing this stuff and especially the quack "medical marijuana" clinics.
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  #4  
Old 05-24-2011, 07:49 PM
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ilbegone ilbegone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayatollahgondola View Post
The question is, how will they decide which ones are let free?
That's a good question. With the general conviction mill in California and the proclivity of LEO's to submit "enhanced" reports and testimony that may prove very difficult to sort out.

Quote:
There's no jobs, so that leaves public assistance, and coincidently, look what else happened today:

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/23/364...o-collect.html
I have mixed feelings on it. With the criminal justice system in California (and I suspect other places as well), it's not so much fines and time served as the way they screw with you in myriad other ways. Once they sink their claws in you they won't leave you alone for a long time.

And just what sort of drug convictions are we talking about anyway?

What is right? Toss someone on the streets with no resources to support himself other than theft of some sort and hope he can get his life together, or run the risk of adding to the number of people on welfare who abuse drugs and alcohol on the public dole? Even though illegals may well suck off the welfare tit, I believe the vast majority of welfare cases involve people with substance abuse problems and mental issues.

As I side note, I know someone who attracted the negative attention of a certain police officer and received several DUI arrests. He faced 5 years in jail, but managed to retain an attorney who managed a settlement for a year of home confinement with an ankle bracelet. The local PD department attempted to frame him on a violation of the terms of plea bargain at the end of the year, with the aim that the convicted would spend a full five years in jail, but it didn't fly.

He did spend a few months in the local pre trial facility, and upon being released he was in fact destitute. He applied for and received food stamps, and has now been working enough odd jobs to just pay his way and rent a room without resort to food stamps. He now has a bicycle rather than a vehicle, and one thing is for sure - he may ride his bike one way to get a limited number of drinks, but he pushes his bike home if he's had anything at all to drink.

By the way, the cop stalked the man's girlfriend as well during that time period, one time having her blow thirteen times on the sidewalk until the officer got what he wanted for probable cause for DUI, then then took her around to the front of the squad car windshield camera and had her blow another three times for documentation, whereupon he cuffed her and took her in.
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Last edited by ilbegone; 05-24-2011 at 07:58 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-29-2011, 05:10 AM
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Criminal and accused illegal aliens are federal responsibility, local lawmakers say


Quote:
In the light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating release of 33,000 criminals in the next two years, two lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are urging the federal government to intervene.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Hesperia, this week sent a "2010 invoice" for $885,039,426 to President Barack Obama asking him to pay up or take custody of 17,000 illegal immigrants from state prisons...



...SCAAP, administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, provides federal payments to states and localities for correctional officers' salaries for incarcerating illegal criminal aliens.

In 2010, SCAAP doled out a roughly $400 million to 850 cities, counties and states, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan research organization.

California is the nation's biggest recipient of SCAAP funds.

"The state has spent over $885 million to house these inmates, but last year we got reimbursed only $88 million,"

Donnelly said. "That's less than 10 cents for every dollar spent."

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation holds in custody 16,829 inmates who are under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.

An additional 3,844 are under "potential" ICE hold - deemed possible illegal entrants who have not come into contact with Department of Homeland Security and have no record in the federal database.

Of those on an ICE hold, 1,042 are serving time for first- degree murder, 1,912 for robbery and 616 for rape...



...Although details of the report are not available, one part of the plan is to discharge from parole illegal aliens who have been deported by the federal government, according to Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the CDCR.

"Before, they would come back (into the country) and make contact with the law enforcement and be in violation of their state parole when they should have been dealt with by the federal government," Thornton said. "By entering illegally, they violate federal law." ...

Full article http://www.sbsun.com/ci_18151681
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Vogel said it is the county taxpayer who must pay for these booking mistakes, adding that arresting the wrong people and jailing them also takes up valuable bed space.
Ventura county is going to lose this one. Intake procedure is that finger prints scans and an on the spot mug shot are fed into the national crime computer - there is no excuse whatsoever for what Ventura County sheriffs did to this man - jail him for nine days without verifying that he was indeed the person accused of the crime. Ventura County, Kern County, San Bernardino County, LA County and far more have access to information fed into the national computer, and certainly in less than nine days. I believe any claim to the contrary is posturing.

I also believe the statement that written communication should have been made to a supervisor at the jail is laughable, that it would either not be delivered or ignored if it was.

Quote:
Man fired while wrongfully jailed part of suit against county

Locked up 9 days — and innocent


A case of mistaken identity landed a Port Hueneme man in the Ventura County jail for nine days last year, despite his repeated protests to a number of officers and a judge that they had the wrong man.

Charles Velasquez, 28, was a victim of identity theft by a man who already had been convicted in Ventura County in 2009 for falsely impersonating him and sentenced to prison.

Velasquez was arrested last year on two warrants issued by Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties for the man who had been impersonating him — Arturo Perez Gonzalez, Velasquez's ex-wife's boyfriend. Velasquez said Gonzalez has a rose and dagger tattoo and is missing his front teeth.

"I've got all my teeth," Velasquez said, and he does not have such a tattoo.

But despite his protests to everyone at the Ventura County jail that they had the wrong man, no one double-checked his identity. It wasn't until nine days after his arrest, when two detectives from Los Angeles County came to transport him to the Van Nuys jail for the warrants, that his true identity was realized. Detectives there compared Velasquez's likeness to Gonzalez's booking photo and concluded Ventura County had given them the wrong person.

By the time the mistake was cleared up, Velasquez had lost his job as a forklift driver.

Velasquez is now the lead plaintiff in a federal class action lawsuit filed in December against the county. Velasquez's lawyer, Brian Vogel, said there are as many as 10 plaintiffs whose cases are being reviewed and will be named later. The suit alleges their constitutional rights were violated and they were falsely imprisoned.

Vogel said the Ventura County jail has all the technological tools necessary to verify a person's identity.

"This is not rocket science, and they have the means to figure this out quickly and effectively," Vogel said. "Unfortunately, our jurisdiction chooses not to do so."

He said there was a "culture of indifference to true claims of innocence" in former Sheriff Bob Brooks' administration...




...He protested, saying it wasn't him who was wanted by police, but Gonzalez. Velasquez said Gonzalez, who was no stranger to the criminal justice system, had stolen his identification and impersonated him.

But Velasquez's protests went nowhere. Velasquez said he remained in custody for nine days, including Easter weekend, despite his protests to at least 10 deputies and other people in the jail, as well as a judge.

His lawsuit names as defendants the county, sheriff's department, Brooks and other unnamed county employees, including booking officers, supervisors, managers and jail commanders...



...Assistant Public Defender Howard Asher, however, said it is a long-standing problem in the sheriff's department.

"It's been a problem for years, ever since I've been practicing," said Asher, who has worked in the office for 30 years...



...Velasquez said the judge told him to wait, and if Los Angeles County didn't pick him up in five days, they'd release him.

Velasquez never had a lawyer appointed to him while he was in jail, Vogel said.

And Velasquez said that because of Gonzalez's criminal background, he was put under a 23-hour lockdown. He also was told he'd have to take "anti-psychotic or some sort of medication," which apparently had been given to Gonzalez when he was jailed there. During a "pill call" at the jail, he said, he refused to take the medication, insisting he wasn't Gonzalez.

Velasquez said he talked to a jail doctor and nurse, who finally figured out he wasn't Gonzalez. He said he didn't have to take the medication, but neither the doctor nor the nurse talked with jail supervisors...
full article http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/may/...-and-innocent/
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"A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat." - Old New York Yiddish Saying

"You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra

Old journeyman commenting on young apprentices - "Think about it, these are their old days"

SOMETIMES IT JUST DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.

Never, ever, wear a bright colored shirt to a stand up comedy show.


Last edited by ilbegone; 05-30-2011 at 10:54 AM.
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