The sweeping social experiment that California has embraced over the years has now reached a peak that, conversely, could prove to be its bottom. Following a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court, tens of thousands of prisoners in California are to be released due to overcrowding which the court says has caused “needless suffering and death”. There was no consideration given to the “suffering and death” of the victims of those prisoners.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy rationalized this move by saying the court had no choice because prison overcrowding has “fallen short of minimum constitutional requirements”. The ruling not only ignores the option of giving prisons more time to fix the problem, it ignores a federal law designed to limit the power of federal judges to release prisoners. It seems the notion of “Supreme” has gone to the heads of five judges.
Justice Antonin Scalia called the ruling “staggering” and “absurd”, predicting that “terrible things are sure to happen” because of it. That, obviously, is much too forward thinking for the majority of five who seem oblivious to any consequences. They are just proud to be so “progressive” and see no danger.
Proving to many that the ruling is absurd, the ACLU totally agreed with the judgment. The director of the ACLU national prison project said: “reducing the number of people in prison not only would save the state taxpayers half a billion annually, it would…lower recidivism rates and create safer communities”. Following this logic, communities would be even safer if all prisoners were released and the state could save all the money it spends on prisons – and there would be no recidivism because there would be no prisoners.
Pandora’s Box is now open in California and the social experiment is in full swing. The Supreme Court has given us a taste of its ideology that will surely surface again when illegal immigration comes before it and amnesty is granted. Some of those released prisoners will end up getting a double-dip of the Supreme Court’s idea of “justice for all”.
David J. Hentosh