Today, a panel of federal judges denied a request by the State of California to stay an order requiring that the state prisons reduce their population by 43,000 inmates in response to a lawsuit by 2 prisoners that the state's inability to provide proper and sufficient medical treatment to its prison inmates amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. In its opinion the court found that it has
"been more than patient with the state and its officials. Throughout the proceedings,
we have had considerable difficulty in determining their positions, in view of their
conflicting representations before this and other official bodies. We are persuaded
that it is not in the best interests of all concerned to act as swiftly as possible.
Further delays and obstruction will not well serve the people of the state and
will not be tolerated by this court."
California has already indicated that it intends to appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court. California is arguing that the federal government does not have the power to order that it reduce its prisoner population.
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