TO DELAY INMATE RELEASES
Responding to a July 3 ruling by a panel of federal judges ordering the immediate release of 9,600 inmates from California prisons, the state’s four living former Governors have asked the United States Supreme Court to stay the releases until the matter is reviewed on appeal.
On Monday, the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation filed a “friend of the court” brief in Washington on behalf of Governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The petition supports Governor Jerry Brown’s request for a stay, arguing that the release of thousands of dangerous criminals would guarantee that more Californians would become crime victims at a time when the state is already experiencing higher crime rates.
While the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the state’s appeal will not be announced until this Fall at the earliest, without a stay to prevent the releases, all 9,600 inmates are likely to be free before the court hears argument.
“By refusing to delay the releases until the state’s appeal can be heard, the three-judge panel has condemned an unknown number of Californians to be assaulted, robbed or murdered by the hardened criminals they insist must be released immediately,” said Kent Scheidegger, the Foundation’s Legal Director and author of the four Governors’ brief. “We are hoping that the Supreme Court will recognize this and stop the releases until the state’s appeal is decided,” he added.
The petition is available at: http://www.cjlf.org/briefs/Plata_MotionforStay.pdf