Governor Proposes to Cut Prison Population by 40,000

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Governor Schwarzenegger has complied with a federal court order and submitted a plan to slash the state's prison population by 40,000 inmates, the Chron reports. The proposal is similar to an earlier plan by the governor that was rejected by the state Legislature this summer. However, the new proposal can be adopted by the court as is - and doesn't need legislative approval. The plan would allow some elderly inmates to be released early from incarceration, would limit prison time for some drug offenses, and would change the definition of grand theft from $400 to $950. The proposal stems from an earlier court decision that state prison overcrowding results in cruel and unusual punishment.

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