Hard Choices: Should California Release 1000 Drug Users or 1000 Violent Rapists?

California is likely to have to release about 1000 prisoners before the completion of their sentences by the end of the year, because judges say that there are apparently limits to how tightly you can cram people into prisons without adequate medical care.  So, who should the state release: (1) people convicted of non-violent use or sale of illegal drugs or (2) violent rapists and murderers?

Crack user may respond to treatment; violent skinhead perhaps less so

To your left, a Polish crack user who was sentenced to treatment and was allegedly able to recover. To your right, a violent skinhead in U.S. prison system. Nah, I can’t figure out which one is better to release either.

Well, I’m stumped.  I have to ask your advice on this one.  We’re not doing some cheesy anonymous poll here, though: make your case below for one or the other in a comment.  Who, if you have to choose, would you rather see released prior to the end of their sentence by the end of the year?  (And would Jesse Aguirre be a better or worse choice than either here?  Do they need to make room in Pelican Bay?)


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-disabled and semi-retired, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally ran for office against jerks who otherwise would have gonr unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.) His daughter is a professional campaign treasurer. He doesn't usually know whom she and her firm represent. Whether they do so never influences his endorsements or coverage. (He does have his own strong opinions.) But when he does check campaign finance forms, he is often happily surprised to learn that good candidates he respects often DO hire her firm. (Maybe bad ones are scared off by his relationship with her, but they needn't be.)