Nearly 1,400 lifers in California’s prisons have been released over the past three years in a sharp turnaround in a state where murderers and others sentenced to life with the possibility of parole almost never got out.
Gov. Jerry Brown asked federal judges Thursday to give the state two more years to reduce prison crowding to the level set by the court, and said inmates could be released early if the state fails to meet its goals.
The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday it will not consider Gov. Jerry Brown’s appeal of an order to trim the state prison population by another 9,600 inmates, leaving him with just one more chance to persuade a lower court to stop or delay a reduction that he says threatens public safety.
The leader of the state Senate on Wednesday backed Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to send thousands of inmates to private prisons rather than free them early to comply with federal court orders to reduce prison crowding.
Gov. Jerry Brown is asking a panel of federal judges to delay its order that California release nearly 10,000 inmates by year’s end, granting him time to appeal the decision to the nation’s high court.
California has targeted career criminals, gang members and sex offenders with lengthy prison terms under laws and initiatives dating to the mid-1990s.