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Brown v. Plata

Gang member Giovanni Ramirez was out on the streets at the age of 31, despite three separate felony convictions for attempted robbery, robbery, and firing a gun in a public place; he was recently arrested again, accused of the Dodger Stadium beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow.

Violent recidivist incidents like this are now likely to multiply in California, because the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion (Kennedy plus the left wing) obliterated the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and permitted a federal district court to order the release of 46,000 felons from California prisons. Scalia and Alito issued sharp dissents to the judicial aggrandizement. [Blackman; SCOTUSblog]

Update: Hans Bader comments on the consequences of federal judicial takeover of the California penal system. "Criminal justice expert Kent Scheidegger predicts that vast numbers of people who commit property crimes, such as car thieves, will no longer be imprisoned—so if you live in California, 'don't bother investing much in a car. It will be open season on cars given that car thieves ("nonviolent offenders") will never go to prison no matter how many times they are caught.'"

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.