California – Ordered to Decrease its Prison Overcrowding

First, the bright news: A US supreme court decision orders California to lower its prison overcrowding from actual 175% to still horrendous 137% of available places. What should be considered a natural decision in a developed and civilized nation needed a swing vote by a supposedly conservative judge in order to win a narrow 5-4 majority.

Brightnews! First, for all detainees, who will be living in somewhat more human conditions instead of being accommodated in conditions that compare more to natural disaster areas than to prisons of a self declared human rights champion. Second, for all those non-violent people filling the prisons for things like smoking dope writing bad cheques, or for missing parole appointments. Maybe they now get the chance to learn how to behave and not longer to learn how to become criminals in an overcrowded and violent prisons. Third, it is truly bright news that the ideological (and at least for supreme judges amazingly little reflected) paranoia of 40’000 freed violent criminals by the conservative judges did not prevail. Hopefully this indicates the return of common sense in the US criminal system.

Source: The Economist

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