Justice Kennedy Blasts Prison System

After his outrageous opinion in Citizens United, freeing corporations to spend willy-nilly on politics, Justice Anthony Kennedy wasn’t my favorite Justice. (Justice Breyer currently holds that title for his dissent in the Prop 8 trial youtube decision.) But, give the man credit for some honest talk at a forum at Pepperdine Law School.  While Republicans in the state are, shall we say, going in another direction, he encourages some real soul searching on our penal system.

“California now has 185,000 people in prison at $32,500 a year” each, he said. He then urged voters and officials to compare that expense to what taxpayers spend per pupil in elementary schools.

“The three-strikes law sponsor is the correctional officers’ union and that is sick!” Kennedy said of the measure mandating life sentences for third-time criminal offenders. (LA Times)

Also of note was his remark that American prison sentences are eight times longer than European sentences. You’ll see with a casual glance at the statistics that the additional expenses for the sentences are not really an efficient use of resources.  

5 thoughts on “Justice Kennedy Blasts Prison System”

  1. Kennedy is not supposed to notice anything that happens outside of the borders of the United States.  

    It is interesting that he gave the LA Times such a nice pull quote on CCPOA, and that the LA Times used it.  I wonder if he also mentioned toughist fearmongering by conservatives (including toughist Dems)?

  2. Anthony Kennedy wouldn’t have a problem with CCA or any other private prison bidness – as we all know the source of extremely cheap labor is inmates.  It’s unions that he objects to , and for that reason alone, his so-called concern should be called into question.  When, ever, did he give two scoots about public education and the funding thereof?

Comments are closed.