Today the great escape may be played out by more than 33,000 incarcerated inmates in California who don't escape the state's 33 prisons but are released by a computer error and the U.S. Supreme Court itself.
Many today say prisoners have too many rights and too many creature comforts while doing time and paying the penalties for their crimes. But the Supreme Court recently upheld the ruling of a district court panel that California prisons are sub-par environments for inmates. A 5-4 majority demanded that Golden State officials grant 33,000 of its 143,335 prisoners golden tickets to freedom because severe overcrowding has led to inadequate medical care.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority. "This extensive and ongoing constitutional violation requires a remedy, and a remedy will not be achieved without a reduction in overcrowding," he said.
Really? No remedy is possible without letting prisoners go free? No solution is possible without essentially expunging incarcerated criminals' crimes and penalties and releasing them into society?
It must be great to be an inmate in California, because the U.S. Supreme Court will not only fight for your medical welfare but also essentially pardon you from your crimes!
On the flip side, the court's four conservative justices were concerned that forcing the state to release 33,000 inmates could endanger the public.
Justice Samuel Alito was correct when he warned that the mass release of inmates would be "gambling with the safety of the people of California. ... I fear that today's decision, like prior prisoner release orders, will lead to a grim roster of victims. I hope that I am wrong. In a few years, we will see." Alito added, "The prisoner release ordered in this case is unprecedented, improvident, and contrary" to federal law.
The fact is that though five U.S. justices fight for the constitutional rights of California inmates, they abandon states' and their own governmental responsibilities, as outlined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, to protect the lives, liberty and property of U.S. citizens.
Does the high court really believe that California officials can discern 33,000 nonviolent non-repeat offenders? And should we assume that California's liberal judicial system and sanctuary cities won't further coddle these criminals?