Crime, Punishment and Constitutional Rights in California

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According to yesterday's ruling by the US Supreme Court, California has two years to reduce the prison population by more than 30,000 inmates. The five-vote majority said overcrowding is so bad it violates the constitutional protection against "cruel and unusual punishment," even causing unnecessary deaths. The four dissenters warned in different ways about a flood of criminals loosed on the streets of the biggest state in the union. Governor Brown's Corrections Director said his goal "is not to release inmates at all." He already has a plan to send non-violent, less serious offenders to county jails.




Warren Olney