AP — The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday it will not consider Gov. Jerry Brown’s appeal of an order to trim the state prison population by another 9,600 inmates, leaving him with just one more chance to persuade a lower court to stop or delay a reduction that he says threatens public safety.
The justices did not comment on their order, which leaves in place the earlier ruling by a panel of three federal judges requiring California to reduce its prison population to improve medical and mental health treatment.
The case now goes back to the three judges, who repeatedly have ruled against Brown and at one point threatened to hold him in contempt if he didn’t adhere to their order.
It’s the second time Brown has been rebuffed by the nation’s highest court. In 2011, Supreme Court justices ruled that the lower court panel had the authority to order California to reduce inmate overcrowding as the key condition for improving conditions.
At the heart of the case is a 2001 lawsuit filed on behalf of inmates who claimed medical treatment in the prisons was so poor it was leading to a death a week through neglect or malpractice. The federal courts agreed, saying conditions violated inmates’ constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment. continue reading...