California lawyers late Friday filed the state's full appeal to the
Despite the state's contention that it intends to meet the prison population cap by leasing added prison space, the appeal raises the public safety threat of "a massive prisoner release."
The appeal cites the great progress the state has made in improving medical and
"The record is bereft of any evidence that releasing these inmates would enable the State to provide a constitutionally sufficient level of medical and mental health care that it is not already providing, or could not provide, through other means," the state's lawyers write.
If the Supreme Court agrees to take up the appeal, it may not be heard until next year, well after the deadline set by a panel of three federal judges. They have ordered California's prison population reduced to 137.5% of what the state's prisons were designed to hold. The state's most recent projections showed California would be 9,600 inmates over that level.
This is the second time California has asked the Supreme Court to overturn a prison population cap set by the judicial panel. Justices rejected the first appeal in 2011 on a 5-4 decision. Most recently, on a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court refused to put the prison reduction order on hold while California makes its appeal.
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