As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, December 07, 2007

Arnold Trying To Cover Up His Complicity In The Prison Crisis

This could get very interesting. The federal judge charged with ruling on the California prison crisis is asking for internal documents that may prove that Governor Schwarzenegger's administration knew about inmate overcrowding and that their suggested remedies would not possibly work.

On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge John F. Moulds gave the plaintiffs' lawyers the go-ahead to start digging. Following an hourlong hearing in Sacramento, Moulds denied the state's claims that the documents represented privileged information, and he gave the administration until noon today to turn them over to the plaintiffs.

"We think there are documents in there that they really don't want to give us and that will really be at the heart of the case," said Lori Rifkin, the San Francisco lawyer who successfully argued for the document release. "We think the documents will show that the overcrowding crisis is something the state can't handle."

Schwarzenegger spokesman Bill Maile said after Moulds' decision that the administration would appeal the decision to the three-judge court that was empaneled last summer to consider whether to cap the state's prison population. Such an order could result in early releases for tens of thousands of prisoners.

Wow. This could be an absolute bombshell. So far the three-judge panel impaneled to examine the prison crisis has been willing to approve plaintiff requests. We all know that it's impossible to build out of this crisis. Mental health and drug treatment programs as well as sentencing reform, addressing the root causes of the problem, are the only way. Now we could find out that the Governor believed the same thing. It's almost a referendum on the prison crisis itself.

(Not to mention the glee of seeing Schwarzenegger try to claim executive privilege.)

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