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Valley Public Radio Staff
Government & Politics
Thu June 20, 2013
Federal Judges to Governor Brown: Stop Delaying Prisoner Release
A federal three-judge panel is reiterating its order to California Governor Jerry Brown to reduce prison overcrowding. Today’s ruling even removes any state and local laws that might get in the way. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.
The judges have ordered California to immediately expand its good time credit program, which allows inmates to get out of prison early. The judges also waived any state or local laws preventing the release of prisoners.
The ruling is part of a decades-long battle regarding prison overcrowding. The judges have ruled numerous times that California must reduce overcrowding by the end of the year. The governor has repeatedly appealed the judges’ rulings.
Mike Bien is a plaintiff’s attorney in the case. He says it’s time for the legal wrangling to end.
"There was a trial. They lost. They appealed to the Supreme Court. They lost again. It’s time to comply with the order,” says Bien.
But Brown is still not giving up the fight. He’s issued a statement saying he’ll seek an immediate stay of this latest court order. He runs the risk of being held in contempt by three frustrated judges demanding no further delays.