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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » California is releasing killers, rapists, and other 'lifers' at record pace (Page 1)

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Author Topic: California is releasing killers, rapists, and other 'lifers' at record pace
Seneca
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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/25/russian-roulette-public-safety-california-releasin/

quote:
California has set a dubious state record since Gov. Jerry Brown took office — the largest number of prison inmates with life sentences released.
Gov. Jerry Brown has released 1,400 such inmates since his term began in 2011 and concurred with the parole board 82 percent of the time, the Associated Press reported.


By comparison, his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, released 557 inmates and went along with the parole board 27 percent of the time during his six years in office. Before Mr. Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis released just two lifers in three years.
“This is playing Russian roulette with public safety,” Christine Ward, executive director of the Crime Victims Action Alliance, told AP. “This is a change of philosophy that can be dangerous.”
The Brown administration argues that it is merely dealing with court orders that attempt to deal with overcrowded prison populations. On Feb. 21, it also announced that it had blocked the parole of 100 inmates deemed fit by the board for release, AP reported.
At any given time, California has roughly 35,000 inmates serving life sentences, which has put strain on the state’s already-bulging prison population, AP reported. Two 2008 California Supreme Court rulings have put pressure on officials to ease parole restrictions.
California is one of four states that give governors the final decision on lifers up for parole.
“If an individual is eligible for parole and the board determines they are no longer a threat, the law says they must be paroled unless there is firm evidence indicating they are still a threat,” Brown spokesman Evan Westrup told AP.
More than 80 percent of those with life sentences are convicted murderers, with the rest largely consisting of rapists and kidnappers, AP reported.

The FBI estimates that over 70% of violent firearm crime is committed by people with prior felonies.

Is there some reason we should be letting murderers, rapists and kidnappers who got life sentences out into society? Before someone spouts the "over crowding" nonsense, that can easily be fixed by not jailing non-violent drug offenders.

Ironic that the state that is the most stingy on granting citizens permits to carry firearms to defend themselves is also the most gung-ho at releasing violent animals out to prey upon the citizens.

And gun control activists wonder why organizations like the 2AF, NRA, CCRKBA are refusing any compromises. This is part of that. Why should law abiding citizens submit to any restriction on their ability to defend themselves when the government is unleashing killers and rapists upon them?

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LetterRip
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Seneca,

the change in number released is because they are well over the legal capacity (132%). It was a law signed in under Schwarzennegger to comply with a court order.

It not 'murderers rapists and kidnappers' being released, those are crimes that are specifically excluded from parole eligibility.

http://ceb.com/lawalerts/Criminal-Justice-Realignment.asp

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LetterRip
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Also,

quote:
That said, inmates convicted of California violent felonies must serve 85% of their sentence before becoming parole eligible.8 Examples of California "violent felonies" include crimes such as

Penal Code 261 rape9,
Penal Code 460 first degree burglary10, and
Penal Code 288 lewd acts on a minor under 14 (otherwise known as child molestation)11.
There are two classes of inmates who are not eligible to earn any good time credit12: (1) those who were convicted under Penal Code 187 California "murder" law13, and (2) those who have been previously convicted of and incarcerated for two or more felonies. Individuals who fall under these categories must serve their entire determinate sentences before being paroled.

http://www.shouselaw.com/parolehub.html
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Seneca
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You are incorrect. It IS murderers being released.

quote:
Morgan, a San Francisco man convicted of the shotgun slaying of his 14-year-old stepsister burglarizing the family home, was turned down for parole five times before the board granted him parole, only to be overruled by Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger wrote that Morgan posed "a current, unreasonable risk to public safety." And he noted that Morgan had at one point claimed that the shotgun had gone off accidentally, although he later acknowledged his guilt to the parole board.

"So I was devastated when Schwarzenegger denied my release," said Morgan, who now is majoring in business management at San Francisco State. "I felt I was a political pawn who would never get out."

In 2011, Brown approved his release after 24 years in prison. Brown made no comment in granting Morgan his release. Instead, the governor signaled his approval by taking no action within 30 days of the parole board's decision becoming official.



[ February 25, 2014, 09:42 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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MattP
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Morgan was already eligible for parole - he had served 24 years of a "15 to life" sentence. The possibility of parole is part of the sentencing for these crimes and complaining when it's actually provided seems to be barking at the wrong end of the system.

[ February 26, 2014, 01:46 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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Seneca
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Did you forget the "to life" part? He's a killer. Is there some reason that murderers should ever be released, and how about in these obscenely large numbers and admittedly because of over-crowding as the rationale?
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MattP
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Yes "to life". It's a maximum potential sentence. Just like someone who gets 5-10 might get out before ten. "Life without parole" is also a possible sentence - one which he did not receive. If you are advocating for different sentencing that's a different issue from advocating for existing sentences to be ignored.

[ February 26, 2014, 02:15 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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Seneca
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If life is one of the options, why does it need to be a different sentence? His sentence carries the possibility of life. He didn't commit grant theft auto, he didn't beat someone up. He murdered someone! Keep him in for life, which is part of his sentence...

Letting him out for "over crowding" is the worst possible reason to release a murderer.

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PSRT
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quote:
Keep him in for life, which is part of his sentence...
Why do you think he should get the maximum, instead of something in between the minimum and the maximum?Do you think all prisoners should get the maximum on their sentence? If so, why do you think there are minimums on the sentences? If not, what guidelines should there be to release prisoners after their minimum but before their maximum?
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G3
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15 to life, did 24. I don't know the details of this guy Morgan bu if he's deemed no longer a threat to society, then parole is fine by me. But if the only reason he's getting out is because of over crowding then that's a problem.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Morgan, a San Francisco man convicted of the shotgun slaying of his 14-year-old stepsister burglarizing the family home...
Sounds like the guy was simply defending his home from a burgler, who turned out to be a family member. A simple case of mistaken identity. He was probably only convicted because of those liberal laws that mandate that people should run away from burglers instead of doing what is necessary to protect themselves.

I would think those who believe in SYG would be defending this guy's right to defend his home, and calling for his conviction to be overturned. [Confused]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Did you forget the "to life" part? He's a killer. Is there some reason that murderers should ever be released, and how about in these obscenely large numbers and admittedly because of over-crowding as the rationale?

Funny how a guy that in other states would have been protected by Castle Doctrine/SYG laws from even being prosecuted in the first place is now so dangerous that he can't be paroled when his sentence says he's eligible for it.
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NobleHunter
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It wouldn't be SYG, it'd be Castle doctrine. Unless she lived there, then it might be neither.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Funny how a guy that in other states would have been protected by Castle Doctrine/SYG laws from even being prosecuted in the first place is now so dangerous that he can't be paroled when his sentence says he's eligible for it.

It's trivial to fact check things. The man was burglarizing his step-father's home when he shot and killed his minor step-sister when she came home with a sawed off shot gun. He apparently was not a resident of the house at the time. There's nothing about that which is covered by SYG or Castle Doctrine, or even self defense at all, none of which can apply to a person's actions during the commission of a crime.

That said, I have no reason to believe he didn't earn parole. Even his step father seems to have forgiven him and supported him.

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NobleHunter
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Seriati, the statement quoted was totally misleading about who was the burglar and who was at home. I wouldn't have expected fact-checking to reveal that the man was the burglar rather than the step-sister. That was a really badly written sentence.
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Seriati
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I agree it was a badly written sentence, it was an obviously badly written sentence. Using it as an example for the cause without investigation was not a good plan.

Not to mention, it would be an entirely different article if someone were sentenced to 15 to life for killing a burglar (even a minor relative burglar) from inside their own home.

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NobleHunter
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I wouldn't have expected a published sentence to get the subject of the verb so terribly wrong. And I'm not entirely sure the article would have been so different.

ETA: I just assumed the Cali justice system would jump on a guy defending his home with both feet for reasons not discussed in such a short article.

[ February 26, 2014, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

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LetterRip
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Seneca,

'life' doesn't mean rest of ones natural life in most states or countries, generally it is defined as 25 years. So, he actually served 24/25 years of his life sentence. There is a huge variability - some states define it as 60, some as 80. Basically the further south and east you head the longer a life sentence is.

[ February 26, 2014, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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msquared
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Seriati

Your sentence has the same issue as the original.

The man was burglarizing his step-father's home when he shot and killed his minor step-sister when she came home with a sawed off shot gun.

She came home with a sawed off shot gun? [Wink]

The main issue with the sentence is the lack of proper punctuation/construction.

msquared

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Seriati
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Lol, good thing I wasn't trying to use that example to prove a substantive point!
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Funny how a guy that in other states would have been protected by Castle Doctrine/SYG laws from even being prosecuted in the first place is now so dangerous that he can't be paroled when his sentence says he's eligible for it.

It's trivial to fact check things. The man was burglarizing his step-father's home when he shot and killed his minor step-sister when she came home with a sawed off shot gun. He apparently was not a resident of the house at the time. There's nothing about that which is covered by SYG or Castle Doctrine, or even self defense at all, none of which can apply to a person's actions during the commission of a crime.

Fair enough. The ground on weird language has been covered, but it wouldn't do to leave the point unacknowledged.

quote:
That said, I have no reason to believe he didn't earn parole. Even his step father seems to have forgiven him and supported him.
Indeed- that's about what we're left with without any evidence that he's still an active threat to anyone.
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Seneca
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This is ridiculous. He isn't the only murderer being released.

What is the point of a life sentence if the guy only served a couple decades and change? He murdered someone in cold blood!

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:

What is the point of a life sentence if the guy only served a couple decades and change? He murdered someone in cold blood!

He didn't get a life sentence, He got a x years to life sentence. Those are markedly different things. If the courts found that the crime was serious enough to be given life without parole, that is the sentence he would have been given.
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NobleHunter
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Actually, if he was surprised during a burglary, it probably wasn't 'in cold blood.'
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Seneca
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Except he was not released due to something on his regard, this was all due to a recent initiative to "ease" over-crowding in prisons. Otherwise if this guy was worthy of parole he would have been released earlier.
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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Actually, if he was surprised during a burglary, it probably wasn't 'in cold blood.'

Please tell me you're joking? Since when do criminals have a right to be in someone else's house and be "surprised" and have that be a mitigating factor if they murder someone who lives there?
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NobleHunter
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Maybe I understand 'in cold blood' to mean something different. To me, it means a considered decision; something done deliberately and rationally. Like executing someone to send a message to a rival mob boss or shooting a witness to avoid being identified or arranging a hit on your wife for the insurance money.

My understanding is that criminals engaged in robbery and similar crimes are usually right on the edge of freaking out from the stress so they don't exactly make careful and deliberate decisions. They don't decide to kill so much as panic and pull the trigger.

I was referring to it as a descriptive term, rather than a legal one.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Actually, if he was surprised during a burglary, it probably wasn't 'in cold blood.'

Cold is probably not correct, though it's tough for us to say. But honestly, who takes a sawed off shot gun on robbery of a relatives house?

And Seneca, I might have more empathy for a view that life means life if (1) the actual sentence wasn't variable and (2) courts actually applied consistent and reasonable sentences.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
This is ridiculous. He isn't the only murderer being released.

What is the point of a life sentence if the guy only served a couple decades and change? He murdered someone in cold blood!

Doesn't sound like cold blood from the facts.

His "admission" to the parole board means nothing since such boards generally don't parole without an admission to the charges.

24 years is more than average service for a 15 to life sentence.
The parole board said he was ready. One governor said not ready. One governor didn't care. I see no reason to say this guy was released to relieve overcrowding. This thread contains no facts to support its title.

I just got an angry email from the GOP griping about Obama not enforcing federal pot laws in states that have legalized it. And gasp, now they can get bank accounts without banks being accused of money laundering. Oh boo hoo.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Except he was not released due to something on his regard, this was all due to a recent initiative to "ease" over-crowding in prisons. Otherwise if this guy was worthy of parole he would have been released earlier.

Why? The prison companies don't make money from paroled prisoners, only those they keep in-house.

If we paid them based on number of successful reintegrations and held them partially liable for recidivism, there might be some support for that suggestion.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Why? The prison companies don't make money from paroled prisoners, only those they keep in-house.

Pretty sure California has been ordered by the Feds more than once to correct thier overcapacity prisons problem. There probably is some truth to the idea that people are being released based on a "need" for cells more than an actual reform or worthiness.

I wouldn't be surprised either if they weren't disproportionately selected from those whose medical bills are expected to rise substantially in the short to mid term.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
And gasp, now they can get bank accounts without banks being accused of money laundering.
Someone in CO really needs to get their act together and set up a Credit Union for the pot industry, so there can at least be one bank that won't be skittish about future reversals on executive decisionmaking here.

That will both give them better short term service and actively bring the muscle of financial institutions to bear on Congress (about the only thing it seems to listen to any more) to correct the law so that they don't keep missing out on the action.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Actually, if he was surprised during a burglary, it probably wasn't 'in cold blood.'

Please tell me you're joking? Since when do criminals have a right to be in someone else's house and be "surprised" and have that be a mitigating factor if they murder someone who lives there?
....

What exactly do you think "cold blood" means, Seneca?

To say that a murder was not cold blooded isn't "mitigation.". Either what occurred was felony murder (accidental death during comission of felony burglary) or basic 2nd degree murder. The sentence is the same. That's what he was sentenced for. There is no evidence of cold blooded (first degree) murder nor did the court find him guilty of 1st degree murder.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Why? The prison companies don't make money from paroled prisoners, only those they keep in-house.

Pretty sure California has been ordered by the Feds more than once to correct thier overcapacity prisons problem. There probably is some truth to the idea that people are being released based on a "need" for cells more than an actual reform or worthiness.
Only to the degree that they weren't first put in there in the first place to bring in more revenue. CA has a prison industry funded three strikes law on its books, as I recall and many of the other distortions in sentencing that come directly from lobbying from a profit motivated prison industry. It would seem to me more that political and financial pressure has finally gotten strong enough to get people out that should have been out along time ago, if they had ever been there in the first place.

As noted with the example case above- the reason he hasn't been paroled yet is not because the parole board didn't think he was ready yet, but because multiple governors have failed to act on the board's recommendations. This is a long overdue decision, not one being drummed up on short notice.

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Seneca
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quote:
This thread contains no facts to support its title.
Did you miss something? CA is releasing murderers and rapists at a previously unrecorded pace. Those are facts. You may try and argue that these criminals might deserve to be released in your eyes, but it does not change that:

-they ARE murderers, rapists and kidnappers
-they ARE being released in record numbers

Meanwhile the state of CA is notorious for being among the worst states in terms of allowing its citizens rights to defend themselves from criminals.

Does anyone not see where this is headed?

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NobleHunter
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Escape from L.A.?
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G3
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Malloy: This is your last chance, hotshot.
Snake Plissken: For what?
Malloy: Freedom.
Snake Plissken: In America? That died a long time ago.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
quote:
This thread contains no facts to support its title.
Did you miss something? CA is releasing murderers and rapists at a previously unrecorded pace. Those are facts.
No. That was a generalized claim. The story about the guy shotgunning his sister or killing his shotgun sister or whatever was a fact, although an ambiguously phrased fact. As shown above, that fact does not support your claim of "record pace" since 24 years on a 15 to life is a moderate to slow pace relative to the rest of the country.

I understand the word "fact" can be used to mean true. as in fiction, but when I used the term "supporting facts" an educated person should understand that I'm using the term fact not to signify any sort of truth but to refer to specific actualities.

quote:
You may try and argue that these criminals might deserve to be released in your eyes,
I don't think anyone deserves to be released in my eyes. Ouch.
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Seneca
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quote:
California has set a dubious state record since Gov. Jerry Brown took office — the largest number of prison inmates with life sentences released.
Gov. Jerry Brown has released 1,400 such inmates since his term began in 2011 and concurred with the parole board 82 percent of the time, the Associated Press reported.


By comparison, his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, released 557 inmates and went along with the parole board 27 percent of the time during his six years in office. Before Mr. Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis released just two lifers in three years.


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LetterRip
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Seriati,

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Pretty sure California has been ordered by the Feds more than once to correct thier overcapacity prisons problem. There probably is some truth to the idea that people are being released based on a "need" for cells more than an actual reform or worthiness.

I wouldn't be surprised either if they weren't disproportionately selected from those whose medical bills are expected to rise substantially in the short to mid term.

I'd say that instead people were being held long after they typically would have been granted parole historically, and now the federal goverment laws on overcrowding are slightly reducing that.
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