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.
Source: Fox News