Four former California governors are backing a request by Governor Jerry Brown to delay the release of nearly 10,000 prison inmates by year's end. Pete Wilson, George Deukmejian, Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger argue in their friend of the court brief that crime could increase if the state is forced to free more inmates.
They want Justice Anthony Kennedy to halt the releases until the justices can consider the state's appeal at a lower court.
The lower court says reducing prison crowding is necessary to improve care for sick and mentally ill inmates. The 12-page brief was filed through the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which generally supports victims' rights.