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Schwarzenegger to request delay in lowering prison population [Updated]

September 1, 2009 | 12:12 pm


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today will ask a panel of federal judges to put on hold their order that the state reduce prison overcrowding, according to the governor’s spokesman, Aaron McLear.

[Updated at 2:20 p.m.: Schwarzenegger has formally requested the stay.]

The judges, overseeing two inmate lawsuits, ordered the state on Aug. 4 to come up with a plan by Sept. 18 to reduce the number of inmates in state prisons by 40,000 over two years.

The state plans to file an appeal of the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court by Thursday.

If the judges decline to grant a stay, the administration will go to the Supreme Court on Friday and request a delay of the order, McLear said.

-- Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento

Photo: On Aug. 19, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with acting warden Aref Fakhoury, left, and California Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate, center, tour a debris-strewn residential hall at the California Institution for Men in Chino, where prisoners rioted earlier in the month. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times