On prison overcrowding, judges offer Brown a shortcut past politics

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown has claimed many reasons for why he can't meet the court order to cut prison crowding, including state and local restrictions on reducing sentences or releasing inmates early.

So federal judges, in another order released Thursday, said they would make it easier for him.

"All such state and local laws and regulations are hereby waived, effective immediately," they wrote.

The judges explained that such a step is necessary because it would be politically difficult to push an early release plan through the Legislature. Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has said it would be dead on arrival.

There's also pressure from Abel Maldonado, the likely Republican gubernatorial candidate who has used his campaign to blast Brown's handling of the prison system.

"This makes it even less likely that Governor Brown will urge the passage of the plan or that the Legislature will grant its approval," the judges wrote.


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Twitter: @chrismegerian

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