win for dignity
The Supreme Court orders California to make its prisons more humane
May 26th 2011 | LOS ANGELES | from the print edition
Not that unusual不足为奇
ANTHONY KENNEDY, appointed to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan and in effect its swing vote nowadays, has for years been speaking out against the inhumane conditions inside America’s prisons. As a native of California, he has also taken an interest in that state’s particularly horrendous prison overcrowding. In Los Angeles last year, he called it “sick” that the state’s prison-guards union had sponsored a notorious ballot measure that, with other sentencing excesses, now keeps far too many Californians locked up.
由罗纳德??里根（Ronald Reagan）委任的最高法院法官，实则现在法院提案关键投票者的安东尼??肯尼迪（Anthony Kennedy），在过去的几年里挺身而出，直言抗议美国监狱的非人性化环境。作为一个加州人，他对州里极其糟糕，人满为患的监狱环境也很关注。去年在洛杉矶，他说加州狱警工会出台的有名的表决措施很“恶心”，再加上判刑过重，加州监狱现在的在押人数实在太多。
So it was no surprise that Mr Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in a 5-4 decision by the court this week that orders California to reduce its prison overcrowding. Full capacity is defined as one inmate per cell, which in California currently means 80,000 prisoners. But California’s prisons have at times housed twice as many, with inmates stacked in bunk beds in gymnasiums. At the moment, the prisons are about 175% full. The court order requires that ratio to go down to a slightly less egregious 137.5% within two years.