I previously blogged about Brown v. Plata, and it’s relationship with the Constitutionality of Social Cost. I noted that the real fear with the prison release order was the concern that letting dangerous people go free would cause mischief and mayhem to others. According to my framework, it seems, that releasing the least dangerous people would have the fewest adverse consequences, and people would be more willing to support the liberty interests of these prisoners.
The Onion, in perfect satire, sums it up:
In an effort to reduce prison populations throughout the state, California governor Jerry Brown announced today that he would release all inmates who seemed as though they were nice enough people. “The goal of this new initiative is to gather a rough first impression of whether or not a prisoner is a decent-enough-seeming person, and to release him or her back into society based solely on that general gut reaction,” said Brown, adding that prison authorities would spend an estimated 12 minutes with each inmate to chat about “this and that” and decide whether or not a prisoner seemed like the friendly sort. “Obviously, some might try to take a swing at the warden in the beginning, but if they calm down from there and maybe smile a few times, they’re probably fine.” At press time, officials at San Quentin State Prison had determined that inmate Vincente “Lobo” Díaz came across as slightly eccentric, granted, but basically likable